Whitmore: Competent or courageous?Thursday, August 26, 2021
For the majority of us, including instructors and managers, education and training are needed to enhance our analytical deftness, sharpen our communication skills, and build our confidence. It is sad that less education is required to coach youth leagues or other beginner-level football teams, but most coaches will need a bachelor's degree to work at the college or professional level.
In some organisations exceptions are made for people who do not have the required academic qualifications, and promotions/appointments are based on years of experience, knowledge, and proven competence. It may not be necessary for football coaches at the higher or national levels to possess a first degree, but they should be qualified.
Football players selected to play at the national level already possess all, or most, of the fundamental technical skills. So it is less about teaching the technical aspects of the game and more about players being helped to use their skills and innate abilities to attain the goals of the team. Harnessing those attributes for success require the coach to have more than technical knowledge. Coaches need to have the capacity to help players unleash their full potential and maximise their performance. Admittedly, some people are naturally endowed with the gift of motivating and getting desired results — but some are not.
For at least nine years, between 2007 and 2021, Theodore Whitmore has been coach of Jamaica's senior football team, varying from interim coach to assistant coach, but primarily as head coach. The main highlights of Whitmore's tenure are Digicel Cup 2010, Concacaf final round of World Cup qualifying 2012, and second place in Gold Cup 2019.
Coach Whitmore is again entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the Reggae Boyz to qualify for the World Cup when the Concacaf final round for Qatar 2022 begins in September 2021. But there is ambivalence as to whether the Boyz will qualify under his guidance.
For those who repose confidence in him, it is hoped that he not only has the courage, but the proficiency to fulfil the expectations of, and even surprise, thousands of Jamaicans.
Peter A P Gordon