Stacey Lee Hercules: Living the Dream with the Mumbai Indians 

Tracey Lee Hercules lives her dream as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Mumbai Indians women’s team. Excited to bring her expertise back home to benefit local players. Photos: Supplied

From playing cricket on the streets of Cape Town to becoming the Strength and Conditioning Coach for Mumbai Indians Women’s team, Stacey Lee Hercules is living her dream job. 

With experience playing for Western Province U19 girls and Senior Women’s team, Hercules transitioned from the sports field to the classroom, graduating with a Biokinetics Degree from University of Western Cape to effect positive changes in athletes’ lives.

“I loved playing sports which led me to my studying Sport Science, and I still wanted to be part of the game, which I love so much, just in a different capacity after my playing days. As a former player, I realized the necessity for an S&C in a team and what difference it makes to the team in preparation during the off-season and during the season. When I started as an S&C with the Titans Ladies Team in 2017, there were probably only two teams in the country who had a dedicated S&C.”

With women’s teams lacking access to proper training methods, Hercules bridged the gap between local and international players in terms of recovery, utilizing her knowledge to enhance the women’s game. Teaching players that offseason hard work translates to success during the season.

In 2023, Hercules lived out her dream year, serving as the S&C for the South African U-19 Women’s World cup team and joining the Mumbai Indians Franchise for the Inaugural Women’s Premier League in 2023. Being recalled to the MI family in 2024 was a special moment for her.

“To work with such skilled international players exposes not only the S&C, but also all the support staff to the latest training methods and technology which international teams use in their home countries. This newly gained knowledge can be taken back to the teams I work with back home which allows South African teams to keep up to date with the latest best practices around the world.”

“Just one thing that I picked up was how comfortably the ladies cleared the boundaries with the sixes that they hit. The skilful bowling plans that were shown by the bowlers and the commitment in the field saving boundaries and fearless catches was brilliant to see and experience. The ladies’ game is evolving so quickly and it is a privilege to be part of it.”

Hercules foresees a bright future for support staff in the women’s game. With the women’s game evolving, CSA Women’s league introduced a dedicated S&C on a more full-time basis, allowing players to follow consistent, structured, and specific training programs. It also enables athletes to train and recover like professionals.

One should never fear making mistakes, as they lead to learning and growth. To get involved in sport as an S&C, offer services to local schools or clubs, demonstrate commitment, and seek learning opportunities through courses and exposure to other S&C coaches.

Speaking about human connection in her profession, Stacey emphasises progression over perfection. Experience comes with time, allowing oneself to learn from mistakes and improve continuously.

Hercules, part of the women’s game for almost two decades, advocates for more women in leadership roles, driving decisions and leading women’s sports forward.

“The WPL has shown that women’s sport can draw crowds and be as entertaining as men’s sports. Time and money are invested in major sports like cricket, rugby, and soccer, where players are contracted and paid to do what they love. More development and sponsorship are needed for non-mainstream sports so that athletes can pursue their passions.”

Preparation is key for any tournament, with Hercules stressing the importance of sticking to planned processes during pressure situations. Taking time for oneself during stress helps regroup and regain control.

With many international franchise tournaments ongoing, Hercules ims to gain more experience working with international players and staff. As the current South African Emerging and SA U-19 Women’s S&C, she enjoys preparing players for tournaments and camps ahead of the ICC U-19 Women’s World Cup in 2025.


Photo Caption: Stacey Lee Hercules lives her dream as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Mumbai Indians women’s team. Excited to bring her expertise back home to benefit local players. Photos: Supplied

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Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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