I have been lucky enough to coach a lot of players over the last 12 months.
Groups of children, from 3 years old and up; a University Club – up to 30 young men (and a few young women, one exceptionally talented); several individuals, both adult Club players and aspiring County age-group “performance squad” members, girls and boys.
But I honestly could not claim to be a specialist in coaching children, or “young people & adults”.
So – I don’t coach women or girls; men or boys; adults or children.
I coach cricketers, and people who want to play the game.
Anyone, in fact, who wants to get just a little better at playing the game.
In addition to not being a “specialist”, I also could not say that I enjoy working with one group more than any other. They all offer different challenges, and different rewards.
With the groups of 3 & 4 year olds, the aim is to introduce them to cricket, alongside some basic movement skills and early “physical literacy” – if there is a textbook on all this, I haven’t found it, so there is a lot of “making it up as we go along”.
It mostly seems to be working – we are seeing lots of solutions to novel movement puzzles, lots of hits, lots of smiles.
Coaching 1-to 1s brings different challenges. Lots of technical observation and analysis; interventions customised for the individual. Research and ongoing CPD to identify “best practice”, never forgetting that the intention must always be to coach the player to achieve better outcomes.
Always striving to make the sessions relevant to the player – challenging and progressive, at appropriate technical levels to drive improvement, without forgetting that these are all amateurs (in the original sense of the word – they all want to get better, but they all play for the love of the game). It has to be FUN!
And when it works, the results show – more runs, selection for Performance squads. And still plenty of smiles.
This post was inspired by a tweet from Naomi Aspin, and a blog post from the Female Coach Network.