Lagos - Elias Gora, a former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), on Saturday said lack of competent coaches was the bane of sports development in Nigeria.
The former secretary general, who was also Nigeria’s Chef de Mission to Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Gora, who is also an instructor with the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), said: “The country lacks coaches that can help athletes to move from lower to higher levels of sports development.”
“We don’t have coaches that can help athletes to proceed through all the developmental stages in sports in general.”
“We have foundational coaches who can go to the grassroots and identify athletes and train them.”
“The coaches that can put athletes through the critical level of development and performance are totally lacking in the country.”
Gora said that there was need for training of all the budding athletes discovered at the grassroots.
He urged sports administrators to organise regular training programmes for the coaches to be knowledgeable in their areas of specialisation.
Gora said that it would take the efforts of only seasoned coaches to understand the psychology of athletes under their tutelage.
“It takes scientific knowledge for a coach with the knowledge of sports psychology to understand the thinking pattern of an athlete.”
“It will enable him to develop an athlete from the grassroots to foundational, and to performance level,” he said.
He also said that Nigerian coaches were limited in their knowledge of “man management.”
“Our coaches are limited in their knowledge as to how and what it takes to groom an athlete.”
“An athlete has to be properly stabilised and motivated by a coach to regard other athletes across the world as his equal without an iota of inferiority complex,” he said.