London Olympian Brett Morse is training his brother, Jay, in the hope he’ll one day surpass his own discus achievements
After making the London Olympics, ranking eighth in the world in 2013 and with a number of national titles under his belt, Brett Morse is one of Britain’s most successful throwers in recent years. Still only 26, he is not at his peak either and hopes to make an impact at future global championships.
Yet the Welshman is already grooming his successor and is spending part of his week coaching the boy who one day, he feels, could beat his own impressive achievements.
His protégé is none other than his own brother, Jay Morse, who currently sits top of the UK under-15 rankings in discus for 2015 and has made an impressive impact in the sport during his short time training for athletics.
“I hope to break all records possible then coach my brother to take them away from me!” says Brett.
Brett started throwing aged 15 and went on to make the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Championships, plus the London Olympics and of course last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he was disappointed to finish outside the medals in fifth.
His best throw of 66.84m ranks him No.2 on the UK all-time list behind Lawrence Okoye and as an under-23 he is ranked second.
“I hope to break all records possible then coach my brother to take them away from me!” – Brett Morse
Young Jay, though, is improving fast and has thrown the 1.25kg discus 48.87m already this season aged 13, although he turns 14 in July.
“At that young age, the big kid usually wins,” says Brett, talking about his young brother’s ability. “But Jay is not that big. He’s incredibly flexible – so much so that physios have had to look at him about it, although I think it’s good to have that kind of flexibility for discus – and, like me, he’s also pretty fast as a sprinter, too. I’m not just saying this because he’s my brother, but he genuinely is very talented.”
For now, Jay is not training excessively for discus but instead enjoying a mix of sports. He also throws the hammer and shot and plays rugby as a centre during the winter. “The seasons don’t clash, which is good,” says Brett, while Jay adds: “I think the rugby helps me get fit for athletics and the athletics helps my rugby – they both complement each other at the moment and I play rugby more in winter and throw in the summer. I used to play football as well but gave that up recently.”
Brett says Jay has a great attitude as well, saying: “He works very hard and listens well. Coaching him also helps me as I can train with him. Doing all this with my brother is pretty cool, really.
“Every session seems to see him improve. And he’s only been doing it for about one year seriously. I’d love it if he breaks my records one day.”
“I think the rugby helps me get fit for athletics and the athletics helps my rugby – they both complement each other at the moment” – Jay Morse
Brett admits he enjoys the coaching element, too. “I feel I’ve got a lot to give as a coach,” he says. “I’ve built up lots of experience in recent years, training and competing all over the world with some of the best discus throwers and coaches.
“Coaching Jay is my first real project and because he’s so young it doesn’t take up that much of my time – just an hour or so a couple of times a week,” he adds, while Jay says his older brother is “really easy to get on with” and fun to train with.
Like any healthy coaching relationship, there is a sometimes a little friction as well. “Sometimes it’s good and sometimes we have fallings out, like most brothers do!” says Brett when asked how the pair gets on.
There is also a slice of sibling rivalry and Jay says he is “definitely competitive” when asked if he likes the idea of beating his brother in future. “I’d love to beat him one day!” he adds.
Brett, though, does not appear quite so competitive and in fact relishes the idea of his brother snapping at his heels and breaking his PBs one day.
That might not happen for some time, though. Morse Snr has started his season in good form with victories at the Loughborough International and Bedford International Games.
“I feel I’ve got a lot to give as a coach … I’ve built up lots of experience in recent years, training and competing all over the world with some of the best discus throwers and coaches” – Brett Morse
In Loughborough he says he threw a long way in warm-up and less –63.42m – in the competition itself which made him “annoyed and happy at the same time”.
Tim Fry, from Cardiﬀ AAC, is one of their many admirers, too, and he says: “The pair of them have spent countless hours this winter in the unglamorous location of the Cardiﬀ AAC throwing circle.
“Their hard work has paid oﬀ as Jay has enjoyed a fantastic start to the season. He’s broken the club record a few times and now tops the British rankings.”
For the time being, though, Jay will continue learning from Brett as he studies him from the sidelines. “We usually all go to the Diamond League to watch Brett and I’m planning to go to the Anniversary Games in London next month to see him. I went to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year as well.”
Yet one day they might be sharing the same spotlight as they step into the circle trying to out-throw each other – the apprentice taking on the master.
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