Telling it like it is – communication matters

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald provoked an interesting discussion on LinkedIn about the importance of communication for the coach.

The article featured descriptions of individual batsmen’s techniques, including in-depth analysis of (perceived) technical flaws.

To be fair to Neil D’Costa, the Aussie coach who came in for some criticism on the LinkedIn group, the descriptions look to me to contain pretty accurate diagnostic pen pictures, highlighting diversions from the “orthodox” technical models that we all refer back to.  We could argue about the remedies proposed, but I think the potential technical issues have been clearly identified.

Whether they have been communicated adequately or appropriately is a different matter, however.

Speaking of Steve Smith, D’Costa says

Smith stands too straight and is not engaging his quadriceps.  If he crouched a little, he would bring in his quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core, and his head would be lower.  He would be better balanced.  Smith also checks the swing on his cuts and pulls, and doesn’t rotate his left elbow over.  He’s not using enough wrist.  No player has been consistently successful with that sort of technique.

Watch Smith bat, then re-read the description above.

Then consider the outcomes – Steve Smith was one of the few Aussie batsmen to finish the recent Ashes series in England with his reputation enhanced.

And this is where the context is important.

Speaking to another coach (and specifically one who appreciates a descriptive approach to analysis), the detail is probably going to be invaluable when prescribing a remedy and devising training routines to bring about the proposed changes.

Speaking to a player, the diagnosis might just confuse as much as it illuminates a technical issue.

Speaking to a layman – this reads like jargon designed only to impress.

Not knowing the context of the communication, I think it is unfair to judge.

Published by Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB level 2 cricket coach; ECB National Programmes (All Stars & Dynamos Cricket) Activator Tutor; Chance to Shine & Team Up (cricket) deliverer; ECB ACO umpire.

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