Coachability – is it a thing?

Should we seek, or create, cricketers who are “coachable”? Can we even agree what we mean by “coachable”?

I came across a fascinating article quoting  Brittney Reese, multiple World and Olympic Champion in the long jump, on the process of becoming a champion.

A story from the 2013 World Championships was especially interesting.  Reese, at that time the reigning World Champion, had only just managed to qualify for the final.

“…my coach told me to ‘stop acting like a girl, and just jump’.

That night I went back, looked at the film and tried to figure out where I was going wrong.”

This was presented as evidence of Reese’s “coachability”, but I’m not sure this really demonstrates “coachability”, not as I understand the term, at least. Continue reading “Coachability – is it a thing?”

Feel the Force – creating power for cricket, with Mark Sheppard and @HECCSport

I attended a fascinating “power” workshop with Mark Sheppard of Active Intelligence Ltd, hosted by Luke Humphrey at HECCSport.

The event was described as “a workshop for coaches who want to understand and teach how to increase power for all levels and age groups”, and I certainly came away with a lot to think about…not to mention aches and pains from muscles that only rarely get called on when I am coaching!

2016-04-11 (2)
Feel the Force workshop – Mark Sheppard @HECCSport
Mark has a background in martial arts, and a lot of the ideas behind his very practical demonstrations come from this field – next time you see a batter throwing punches at a coach with boxing mitts, check out the batter’s feet and hips.

If he is really generating force, expect to see feet firmly planted, knees flexed to lower the batter’s centre of gravity, and transfer of weight into the punch.

Otherwise, what you will probably notice is that the mitts are being slapped, not thumped.

I shall certainly be using the demonstrations of the stable base position for power hitting and throwing in one-to-ones and group sessions with older players.

Perhaps not for all – I can’t see the Little Legends (3-4 years old) performing the “squat-shift”, just yet – but we can still make sure they are learning good movements patterns from an early age, so there is less need to un-learn bad habits later in life.

Continue reading “Feel the Force – creating power for cricket, with Mark Sheppard and @HECCSport”

Changing the world, one small movement at a time – #thewinningdifference #ECBCAConference

Across the ECB CA Conference, several of the presenters spoke about the opportunity (and need) for coaches to make a real difference at the participation level – we were exhorted to be “the difference that makes a difference”; we were told that “thinking differently [was the key to] performing better”.

Frank Dick even challenged the assembled coaches to each come up with a way to become that “winning difference”.

As a Community coach, I think I might have found one – to try to develop in “my” players what Fuzz Ahmed called “skill ability” – the ability (mental and physical) to learn new skills – and, more specifically, to help them to develop the physical competencies needed to train to participate at any level.

Continue reading “Changing the world, one small movement at a time – #thewinningdifference #ECBCAConference”