St. John’s Antigua- Fitzroy Benjamin said he is not experiencing much difference in switching from being manager to new head coach of the senior national men’s volleyball team.
Earlier this year, the Antigua & Barbuda Volleyball Association (ABVA) appointed Benjamin to replace Orson James as the new head coach.
For the past three months, Benjamin has been engaged in his first head coach task, which is to prepare the team for next month’s 2014 World Qualifiers in St Martin.
Benjamin said except for the additional coaching duties, there is really no other major difference to his former role.
“The association appointed me to coach and I am assisted by Dion Francis. This is the first time being the head coach. I have managed the team in the past, but this is actually the first time of being the head of the training squad itself,” Benjamin said.
“It is good, but it’s pretty much the same as being the manager – making the decision on behalf of the team.
“It is just that now you have to go out nightly to conduct the drills and plan for where you want the athletes to be at the end of August because you don’t really want them to peak right now,” he added.
The five-team qualifying group competition is scheduled for August 30 to September 3.
The Antiguans will be competing with St Maarten, Bermuda, Anguilla and hosts St Martin for two qualifying spots in the next round.
Less than a week later, the Antigua & Barbuda team will also be participating in the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association’s (ECVA) Men’s Championships in St Lucia.
Benjamin said a corporate citizen is assisting the national training with a supply of Gatorade energy drinks for the duration of their preparations.
“I must mention that we are also getting support from the business community. We got a supply, until August, of Gatorade from Anjo Wholesale,” Benjamin said.
“This is a good thing for us because usually, on the night of practice, we have to provide Gatorade water and so forth for these athletes to refuel their bodies.
“It is nice that Anjo came on board and is actually supplying us with Gatorade that will take us to the end of August.”