I came back from the ECB Coaches Conference with a long reading list. Tim Gallway, Steve Peters, Ric Charlesworth, Hippolyte and Theraulaz (if I can find anything of theirs); anything from the sports psych speakers. Fascinating stuff, and enough to keep me occupied well into next year, I’m sure.
Book “learning” does not work for everyone, I know, but I like to read to be challenged by new ideas, not to confirm existing prejudices. It can take a while for the ideas to crystallise (see below), but that is half the challenge of learning – if it was easy, or obvious, a new idea probably wouldn’t be that new.
I learnt of the flipper some thirty years ago, from a book – “Cricket The Australian Way“, edited by Jack Pollard. I have never bowled the flipper in a game (maybe this year…I’ll call it the teesra!), but the idea that there could be more to bowling than swing and seam, off-break leg break and googly opened up a whole new world to me.
And from Brian Wilkins’ “The Bowler’s Art” I learnt that (in spite of the book’s title) there was science behind the sometimes erratic behaviour of the cricket ball, science that could be exploited by the skilful bowler.
Careful reading of Don Bradman’s “The Art of Cricket” reveals a lot about the technique of probably the greatest batsman there ever was – and a better understanding of this model of (near) perfection would surely improve the art of batting.
So – not reading to slavishly follow, but to extract the best ideas and incorporate them into coaching practice. Makes sense to me.