Fri | Apr 19, 2024

U19 basketball: Improved fitness the key for Wolmer’s Boys

Published:Saturday | March 2, 2024 | 12:08 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Howard Harvey
Howard Harvey

A change in philosophy was what did the trick as Wolmer’s Boys ended their season as Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association under-19 basketball champions following their 66-53 victory over Jamaica College in the final.

Howard Harvey, head coach of Wolmer’s, said that the team had to increase their training days along with spending an extended amount of time in the gym which led to their lifting the title.

“We started training in the summer and we went morning, noon and night. We normally train three days a week, but prior to the season we went up to six as we decided to change our philosophy. We spent hours in the gym shooting between 2,000 to 10,000 shots from the field inclusive of free throws as we had to step up our shooting as we were lacking in that area,” he explained.

Coach Harvey added that the team also went through an unorthodox preparation for a basketball season as he opted to also focus on both the spiritual and mental aspects of the training. In addition, after reviewing how last season ended, he realised that the team also had to improve their fitness levels as in the final minutes of a game the players’ legs would grow weary.

“After the review we realised that we had a problem with our stamina as we would often perform well in the first and second quarters and then in the third and fourth quarters, we had zero gas in the tank so we had to work on that. Part of our preparation also had to deal with the mental and spiritual so we read the Bible, prayed and had meetings online,” he stated.

After limiting Jamaica College to only 53 points in the final, Coach Harvey shared that it was due to a change in their defensive scheme that did the job. He believes that his opponents took a long time adjusting to the change which allowed them to create distance between the pair.

“One of the strategies that the Lord gave me was that he told me to change the defence. Therefore, changing the defence threw them (Jamaica College) off of their game. In the history of schoolboy basketball, it shows that teams often take a while to adjust to something new, so by the time they adjusted we would have a double-digit lead. However, while they came back into the game our defence was relentless in the latter phase and forced them out of their comfort zone,” he added.

With their eyes set on defending their title coach Harvey shared that preparation for next season will resume earlier than usual.

“After Champs (March 19-23) we are going to start preparing for next season,” he said.