Coach King Discusses Jerome Taylor
Fri, Jun 10, '05
In reaction to a Television Jamaica (TVJ) story on fast bowler Jerome Taylor, which was reported on CaribbeanCricket.com, West Indies head coach Bennett King sought out Michelle McDonald to clarify aspects of the report, and give an update on Taylor's injury rehab process.
Coach King also outlined the responsibilities where the supervision of Taylor's rehabilitation is concerned and the fast bowler's own responsibilities going forward...
BK: For us, how it all evolved is something that is quite interesting because no one contacted me or said anything to me about some of the issues. I guess it stems from Jerome being injured during the regional series and then coming back and playing the [Carib Beer Cup] Finals, and him being selected to play against South Africa, and us finding out he was no longer able to play. So that was the issue that we wanted to clarify and we got information from Dr Mansingh with regards to Jerome.
We notified Jamaica, who is responsible for Jerome, that we would like to see him when we came for the One Day series so that our Physiotherapist [Stephen Partridge] could have a look at him and then we could talk through with Jerome regarding his progress and his process for moving forward.
We did that just generally. I put together a report for my own use because we weren't sure of the correct process that was needed to go down at that stage but certainly as a regional cricketer, Jamaica has got a responsibility, as has West Indies Cricket, so we both have responsibility.
The issue for us is finding out about who is in this area who could service him and make him sound for cricket in the future. We've had talks with people and we are pretty clear now as to which process we are probably going to use. We still have a couple of issues that we need to iron out in terms of being able to get information back to us so that we can see how he's progressing.
Because you're on the road a lot?
Yes. And that is one of the main issues. I know that, Jerome, in speaking to him, wanted to be with us and have us to work with him but one of the issues for us is how do you do it because financially it's quite expensive, and then is it the right thing to take him out of his environment as well for long periods of time and rehabilitate him? My report hasn't gone to anybody.
So what, if anything, did Jeffrey Dujon get while you were here the last time?
Jeffrey didn't get a thing.
No, he didn't get a remedial programme. What we did was we showed him what our proposed one was but we didn't hand it over to Jeffrey at that stage.
So he has no responsibility...had no responsibility?
Yes, that's right. He knew what the process was and he's the Jamaican Coaching Manager so there is going to be some responsibility with Jamaica, and there is responsibility with West Indies Cricket as well. You have to work hand in hand.
Of course. Which then brings into question the involvement of the Territorial Development Officer [TDO], Phillip Service. How has he been involved? You would have read on the Web site where he said he was awaiting reports from you. Have those been sent? Is he going to be involved any at all?
He most probably will be involved in some way. The question of how much he is going to be involved is still yet to be determined. But he'll be there. He is a link for us in West Indies Cricket, as is Jeffrey Dujon.
Ok. Where is Jerome at now?
Well, the first thing we had to get settled with Jerome is his injury; that he's actually recovered so that he can start doing bowling work. Certainly, we're getting close to that stage I believe now and he needs to be in constant contact with Stephen Partridge, our medical person, so that he knows, but also with Jamaica Cricket and also with the person who he is working with.
If you read a previous article on him which spoke about biomechanical issues and slight changes required with his action, is that then going to follow after?
The first thing he's got to do is get fit, so then he can actually do stuff and then the information that he had before is very similar to the stuff that we wrote anyway.
That was done last November?
Yes I think so. I'm not sure when. I wasn't here but I saw a general report that was done up. We've made ours a bit more specific and put in more lesson plans, play steps, everything he needs to address and how much he is supposed to do and just be a little more specific.
But that hasn't been handed to anybody yet. What we are very aware of is if we hand over those programmes too early, potentially they can start them too early, so what we're trying to do is make sure they get totally fit so that the injury heals because quite often athletes are so keen to get in there and try and fix everything, it can actually hamper the recovery process. So we are just making very very sure, and to date I think Jerome has done everything that has been required of him.
When do you think that report that will show the next step, will be handed over, and to whom?
It's interesting because, in reality, my role isn't to work with regional players. Jerome being a person who was close to Test selection makes it a little bit of a separate case. Because we are obviously interested in this particular individual and he was picked in our side, we felt it was our duty to try and put forward some plans together and work along with the Development Unit, through Dr [Michael] Seepersaud. In terms of fast bowling stuff as well, he's got a lot of work to do there as well. We passed that technical information on to him about a week ago and the process remains from there working down I guess, and us making sure we stay in contact with the appropriate personnel in Jamaica.
If I were to ask Jerome Taylor now personally "what's happening with you, do you know what's going to happen next month?" would he be able to tell me what you have told me?
Jerome has a workload plan.
Workload plan...that's physical stuff right?
Yes, yes. It spelled out exactly what was needed. He's had that for two or three weeks, I believe.
Would it have been given directly to him?
Yes. The strength and conditioning programme which was set in place was given to him directly.
Does David Bernard Snr [Trainer for the Jamaica teams] have any involvement in terms of supervising?
There's another issue regarding how far away Jerome lives [from Kingston]. So what we have been trying to do is work within his region so he is much more comfortable and try and source people there that we believe will have the expertise and that he is comfortable with and if he's not comfortable with him, then Jerome is to report to us to say that it is not working.
Is Junior Bennett involved, because that was his high school coach?
Those are things for probably Jerome to talk through but I certainly did take a look at someone like that in that region.
When I interviewed Jerome last year he said that in St Elizabeth the access to a gym is really not there, so the kind of workload that was given to him, would it have considered that there is a possibility that he might not have such equipment to use?
Some of the things are a choice for the athlete to make too, and they've got to make a choice, if it's not there, are they going to try and get it there, or if it's not there are they going to try and go somewhere different?
Because they should know the results they want...
Yes. So that's really a decision for Jerome to make rather than myself. Elite athletes everywhere they try and find a way to do things appropriately to make it a success.
Yes, but you see, elite athletes somewhere else...
As soon as you say 'but'...
'However'. I should say 'however'... [laughing]
As soon as you say 'but' you disagree, but it's not the fact.
What I'm saying is that his case might be a little bit different in terms of the financial aspect.
But again, the other people are making excuses for him and if we keep making excuses for a lot of these people, they won't move forward.
Ok. So what you're trying to do is to sort of shift or put some of the initiative on the player himself?
It has to be. It's his career, it's not my career, so if he can't get it somewhere, he's got to find a way how he can get it and that's what Jerome has got to work out as well, in conjunction with us.
Who is your point person in Jamaica for finding out, let's say in two weeks from now, what Jerome has done?
We've probably got two. We really should only have one but we've probably got two at the moment. I certainly believe that we have to make sure we stay in close contact in Jamaica Cricket and Michael [Seepersaud] is very up to date on everything and I think he's obviously in charge of this bowling stuff. He's up to date with everything that I've just spoke to you about.
Who in Jamaica Cricket?
That's for Jamaica cricket to determine but I would say at this stage it's Jeffrey and certainly with our own employee who is here, Phillip Service. There'll be roles for him to play.
He [Service] said that he hadn't received copies of the report, based on any new video analysis that you would have done.
The video analysis wasn't that helpful, the new one that we took, because he wasn't bowling at full pace. We could do some stuff based on it because some of the signs are there but when you go into your full action, you will do some things differently.
He did say that he is making contact with Jerome and making himself available to help in whatever way. In responding to the TVJ report that Jeffrey was supervising, that he said was surprising. He didn't know that was the case but you have now said that the programme hasn't been officially handed over...
Yes, both people will have a part but no one has had the programme as yet, but they've got the old one that's very similar so everyone has got that. That's the thing that has amazed me in this whole thing is that they've actually had a programme so it was all there in the past. Who was responsible in the past?
Again that was a problem.
That's an issue that I don't know. Because I care about the kid but people try and make it out to be a massive issue and I just sort of think...
It's not a massive issue. What it is is that Taylor's young, he's exciting, we see what our bowling performance has done in the past and everybody says this is one of the people who is going to save us, so that's why there is this interest. Now you might have read that the Development Unit suggested that he shouldn't have played in the Carib Cup, but he played anyway...
That's a choice that the player makes as well. If the player has been told 'we don't think you should be playing'...
But the point is that they should be able to say to him 'no, you cannot play'.
Again, what if the athlete came out and said "but I want to play", I feel really good, I want to play?
"No, you can't play"
Well you've answered it.
So in the future, we should hear about the move forward for Jerome...
Jerome has a long process to go through and his future. Who knows what his future is going to bring and I think sometimes it isn't fair that the media puts so much pressure on a young kid such as this to be the saviour of their future. It's sad because the kid hardly played regional cricket and I think some of the pressures the media place on him are just unfounded.
But that is also brought about by selection methods which you sometimes have to question, no?
Everybody's got their own point of view and opinion about everything. It's different when you go to different countries.
But I think moving forward, most of this is in Jerome's hands and Jerome's got to be prepared to focus on where he wants to be, and if Jerome hasn't got the equipment or resources that he needs, then he needs to be able to be strong enough to say 'this isn't working for me and we need to change' and that's what good players in good sides do.
They take responsibility for their own actions; they take ownership of what they do. You don't have to have the best training facilities and the best things to overcome some of these injuries. I'm sure he is going to come out the other side of the tunnel a stronger person.
But you're not going to put a time limit on it.
Well with these things you can't.
Was it a conscious decision not to have Service and Dr Mansingh in the meeting that you had with Jerome?
Yes. They had already told us what they believed, so we needed to find out something by ourselves.
Ok that's it, unless you want to say anything else?
I certainly would. When we get referenced by people, then following up the source or following up with me is probably important.