Changing lanes

Changing lanes

Frater says learning from the best puts him on course to excel as coach

By Howard Walker
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Following his stellar career on the track, Jamaica's 2005 World Championships 100m silver medallist Michael Frater has turned his focus on coaching, through which he is honing his skills at St Jago High school.

If Frater can combine what he learnt from arguably the best two coaches in the world — Stephen Francis and Glen Mills — then his athletes could get the best of both worlds.

Francis is the coaching guru at MVP that guided Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson, along with former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell.

Mills guided the career of the greatest sprinter of all time Usain Bolt, and Yohan Blake to dizzying heights.

“Coaching is fairly new to me in terms of actually coaching athletes, but I have done and set workouts for myself and so forth. So, I understand most of that and I have the experience learning under the great Stephen Francis and Glen Mills — and there is no better experience than learning from those two coaches who, I think, are the best two coaches in the world,” Frater told the Jamaica Observer.

But what would have been his first major coaching assignment ended in disappointment with the cancellation of the popular Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.

Frater, now 37, is the male sprinting coach at the Monk Street institution, and he was revving up the troops for an assault in the sprints.

The results were clear to see as a plethora of youngsters were set to run really fast at Champs, led by Vashaun Vascianna, Javari Thomas, Jamar Treasure, Tajay Duffus and Kavian Kerr.

Frater, who is the third vice-president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), retired in 2016.

“For me, it's a part of giving back. It a part of sharing my knowledge of what I have garnered over the many years,” Frater pointed out.

“I have been competing and it's a situation where I can relate to the athletes. I have been in the position that most of them have been in. So for me, it is just understanding an athlete, knowing what they are going through, and passing on the knowledge,” he added.

“I am a student of the game so I like to learn, although I have been through most of that. So I'm starting with high school and eventually most coaches will try to get to the world stage. But for me, it's a learning process,” he emphasised.

Frater, a former Wolmer's Boys' standout at Champs, durning which he broke both the Class Three 100m and 200m records, then moved onto Class Two and was second in the 100m before he left for the United States.


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