The coaches’ Duty of Care — to the player, and to the game

For me, coaches’ Duty of Care has two components — to the player and to the wider game.

And, whilst the former is (correctly) included in coach education, I wonder if the latter — duty to the game — is as recognised anywhere near as widely.

To the player

Coaches have a clear duty of care to the players they work with, respecting safeguarding and fundamental human rights.

And also so they get the chance to stay in and develop within the game, not in action remediation or physical rehabilitation.

I do not believe in leaving players to “find their own way” if they are clearly heading down a skill acquisition cul-de-sac!

Active, preemptive, intervention might be justified.

To the game

But I believe that coaches also have a “duty of care” to the game.

We don’t have the luxury of multitudes playing backyard cricket.

Northern Counties used to “whistle up a fast bowler from the nearest pit”.

The pits have closed, and the backyards & streets are car parks.

We can’t afford to lose players from the pool.

So the coach has a duty to nurture all of the players he sees, not just those who might go on to higher honours.

I am proud to have coached with a club that produced two young cricketers with the ability to progress into the professional game, one within a County Academy and 2nd XI set-up, the other with the Cricket Ireland Academy.

And, whilst I ran sessions with both of the players, I wouldn’t make any claims for my own coaching contribution to their development.

But what I did do was to create a Club environment in which the two “stars” could shine, where they had team mates who could bat and bowl, and hold a catch. Team mates who went on to play open age cricket, in 1st XI or 5th XI, once the Academy players had moved on to higher things.

And that, for me, was a fulfilment of that duty of care to the players (all players) and the game.

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.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: