ECB CA Conference Review #ECBCAConference

I am slowly recovering from a hectic couple of days at the ECB Coaches Association Conference at the weekend.

Leaving the house at 6 am, and listening to Ashley Giles talk about his career, and his journey from player to coach, at midnight…a long and fascinating first day, followed by six straight hours of workshop and presentation on Sunday.

Taken singly, every presentation contained nuggets of interest.  Taken together, and with the added bonus of a group of like-minded cricket coaches to share ideas with, there was almost too much to absorb in one weekend, and I am sure to be coming up with new ideas for months to come.

However, the key themes of the weekend were encapsulated for me in the title of the opening keynote from Frank Dick: Winning Matters – and, by extension, so does the role of the coach in developing the pathway towards victory.

The word “difference” came up a lot, too – we were exhorted to be “the difference that makes a difference”; “thinking differently [and] performing better”.

Frank challenged us all to come up with a way to become that “winning difference” – I am still working on mine.

Continue reading “ECB CA Conference Review #ECBCAConference”

More on physical literacy – coaching the athlete

Debate on LinkedIn Cricket Coaches Worldwide group on the merits (or otherwise) of formal S&C training for young players.

The consensus view is that a 10-year-old would do best to simply play games, ride a bike, climb trees (can I say that without including a Health&Safety warning?).  I do agree, but with one proviso.  A lot of 10 year olds I see simply do not have the basic athletic movement patterns needed to benefit from games-based “fitness” programmes.

So the coach has the responsibility of ensuring his players have acquired “physical literacy” before they try to move on to more structured S&C training. Continue reading “More on physical literacy – coaching the athlete”

The quest for physical literacy – why it matters for cricket coaches

This autumn we are very lucky to have a full team of qualified coaches working with our Colts section.  Not only does this mean that the volunteer coaches get the chance to work with more experienced coaches, it also means that we have the luxury of occasionally taking a step back from running a session to actively observe what is going in.

And some of the things we have seen, even in the warm-ups, have confirmed a growing suspicion about the fundamental athletic abilities, such as speed, strength and agility, demonstrated by our players.

We are working with a group of talented young cricketers who are not always equally talented athletes.

But a series of observations that confirm a suspicion only poses the question – what can we, as cricket coaches, do to help our cricketers to become (better) athletes at the same time as developing their technical, tactical and psychological cricketing skills?  We are cricket coaches, not track and field, or gymnastics.

So I was very lucky to attend a breakfast workshop recently with Kelvin Giles, where he addressed the topic of physical literacy.  And the more I heard, the more I became convinced that basic physical literacy could be the answer to our (cricket-related) athlete development challenge.

Continue reading “The quest for physical literacy – why it matters for cricket coaches”