First impressions from day 1 of the ECB Coaches Association Conference.
The official theme for the Conference is “Change the Game”, but underlying this might be the need to change the coach’s behaviours – not because they are bad, but because they could be even better.
The day started with Damian Hughes describing his Five Steps to a winning mindset process. Illuminating in its own right, I then spent the rest of the day noticing how the other presenters embodied one or more of Damian’s Five Steps.
Graham Thorpe and Chris Brown, both elite performance coaches, emphasised Simplicity of message and an intensely Practical approach to development – simple drills with simple, jargon-free outcomes.
Ian Renshaw’s session on Club Constraints beautifully illustrated Damian’s Tripwire concept, that the great coach creates opportunities for the players to ask questions of themselves – how do I succeed in this constrained environment? As Ian put it – players are shaped by the environment in which they learn to play; the clever coach shapes that environment.
Both Wasim Khan and Paul Shaw highlighted the Emotional impact of the coach, whether in creating an environment in which people are comfortable to strive and (hopefully) prosper or (in Paul’s phrase) by treating people the way they need to be treated.
Finally, the presenters were consummate Storytellers
- from Shane Warne’s “ball of the century” to Mike Gatting, to how you could achieve something similar just (that should really be “just”) by presenting the seam of the spinning ball correctly;
- the journey from County player to County CEO;
- painting pictures for the players you work with, not writing a technical manual, by telling them what you want them to do, not how they should do it.
A fascinating first day.
And more promised for tomorrow!