Herbert Morrison sprint guru feels good about coaching
Ask Herbert Morrison High School sprint guru Claude Grant how he got into coaching and the memory will produce a throaty chuckle. Twenty-five years into his sojourn at the Montego Bay-based school, Grant still feels good about helping youngsters...
Ask Herbert Morrison High School sprint guru Claude Grant how he got into coaching and the memory will produce a throaty chuckle. Twenty-five years into his sojourn at the Montego Bay-based school, Grant still feels good about helping youngsters with their academic and athletic goals.
The 2022 Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association long service awardee and Mike McIntosh, now head coach at Green Island High School, had finished undistinguished track careers at Rusea’s High and decided to go to the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport. “We were always wondering why we were not doing well at Rusea’s,” he recalled days after the October 6 award ceremony.
With GC Foster lecturer Maurice Westney as a guide, Grant grew as a coach. “That gave me a better push in terms of not leaving just with the basic knowledge, but because I actually stayed on and assisted in the evenings, I had gained better knowledge in terms of the true development of what is needed.”
His years at Herbert Morrison have been productive with students like 2008 and 2010 World Under-20 100 metres champion Dexter Lee, 2021 Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist Remona Burchell, 2004 World Under-20 200m bronze medal winner Nickeisha Anderson, and 2018 World Indoor 400m finalist Toveo Jenkins hitting the heights.
The 52-year-old Sandy Bay, Hanover native revealed, “I still have to research. I’m wearing glasses now because I’m on the computer a lot because I believe you don’t stay the same way as a coach because technology changes, and the science of coaching has evolved a lot.”
His ongoing vigilance has brought DeAndre Daley to the Carifta 100m title in 10.23 seconds and his older brother, Mark Anthony, helped Jamaica to the 4x100m silver medal at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia.
Once a sprinter himself, coach Grant encourages his student-athletes to study.
“Most of the students from my area, their parents don’t have the money and they don’t have the wherewithal to get into the universities,” he reasoned.
“I always make them know the academics are very much important because once you have that and you are running well, there is always an institution that will take you and bring you forward and you will make it in life,” he continued.
Grant, now head of Herbert Morrison’s Physical Education department, added, “It doesn’t matter which school they are coming from. If all of them get to university, the whole society changes.”
Twenty-five years in, Grant is still motivated to coach.
“For me, I want to see Jamaica do well,” he advanced, “and because I want to see Jamaica do well, I try to do it from my end to ensure that whenever I’m preparing my athletes, I think about them as best as possible, and when I do that, when they do well and they win the medals and Jamaica feels good, I feel good.”