Beware – too much input!

There have been several interesting conversations recently on the coach’s use of silence – keeping quiet, and allowing the “game to teach the game”, and refraining from constant interruption and instruction.

In particular, I enjoyed a post from ImSporticus – The Way of the Silent Coach.

An ideal, perhaps, and certainly applicable to matchplay.  I think I would struggle to maintain the silence through a practice session, however.

I might adopt two minimalist, almost value-neutral interventions, ascribed to Ric Charlesworth, on watching a “trial-and-error” session:

  • “fair enough” (“you tried, it didn’t work out this time”)
  • “good” (as in “you have demonstrated the desired outcome”)

That’s all.  Leave the player to get on with the game.

I began a new coaching assignment towards the end of last year, working with a university cricket club.

Quite a mixed group, by ability – from County Performance Programme and 2nd XI experience, through club players, to part-time “I used to play a bit at home”.

All highly intelligent, most seemingly keen to make the most of having access to a full-time coach.

And the temptation as a coach is to keep talking, to keep coming up with new ideas, new solutions for technical flaws, real and imagined.

A temptation I shall try to resist…it will be interesting to see how the players will buy into “fair enough” and “good”!

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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