Coaching for beginners — “we need to develop world class coaches _for_ beginners”

Frank Dick said exactly this at the ECB CA conference in 2015. Everyone nodded. Nothing much seems to have changed…

The Coaching Plan for England says a lot about bringing in new coaches by reducing barriers to entry, but very little about helping those new coaches (or existing coaches working in the ignition/grassroots/participation arena), who most probably will be working with beginners, to become “world class”.

Mentorships are mentioned, but apparently as a remedial exercise to supplement the training offered in streamlined level 1 & 2 courses.

I bought the line from the platform at the ECB CA conference in 2015, where Frank Dick was a keynote speaker, about how “children’s coaches are vitally important” and “we will support, develop & reward good children’s coaches”.

And set out to become the best children’s coach that I could be.

For what?

“Children’s coaches” are still not valued in cricket, are not supported, are not going to thrive unless they are both extremely resilient and resourceful in finding their own development opportunities.

CPD courses for Coaching Children were good, but perhaps only as a starting point for coaches to develop greater understanding of the challenges of coaching younger participants

The “Coaching Children” Diploma never reached East Region, but feedback on the YPA equivalent suggested it might not be that well thought through.

Now both appear to have been discontinued.

The new Advanced Coaching course (level 3) looks to be strong on technical coaching to support players at the Development or “Performance” stage, with little that is obviously relevant to coaching beginners.

In fact, All Stars’ Activators (volunteers who deliver the entry level All Stars Cricket programmes) possibly get a better grounding in coaching children (I know — I have tutored a couple of Activator Training sessions), but Activators aren’t even considered to be “proper” coaches!

Emphasis heavily on connecting with participants, about understanding their particular needs, and about helping them (the participants) to thrive (thanks to UK Sport for this component of the Activator Tutor training).

“we need to develop world class coaches for beginners”

Frank Dick

Yes, yes, yes to the ambition.

What can be done to make it happen?

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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