Looking out for a hero – pick your role models

When I am working with our Colts, I always try to illustrate a coaching point with examples from the First Class game.

A lot of the boys try to hit the ball too hard, and fall over as they go for a big shot.  I try telling them to stand still, and to keep their balance.  But there can be few better examples of perfect balance at the batting crease than MS Dhoni, hitting the winning 6 in the final of the 2011 World Cup.  They have all seen the pictures, all seen the poise and the twirling bat.  And some of them are hitting the ball a lot more often, and more cleanly, now they follow Dhoni’s example.

For straight lines when bowling – Dale Steyn.  Run straight towards the stumps; look straight ahead; follow through straight; bowl straight…it works!

For absolute focus on the task in hand – Alastair Cook, every time he bats.

And now I might have a new role model – Kevin Pietersen.  Not (this time) for the inventiveness in his stroke play, or confidence to back his own methods, but for his innings in the Mumbai test.

Not just a great innings, but a great innings when it mattered, both to KP himself and to the England team.  Now if I could just encourage the Colts to follow KP’s example, and to find the commitment in themselves to perform at their best when their team needs them, I think I might be working with some even better young players. Continue reading “Looking out for a hero – pick your role models”

Towards a philosophy of coaching

Back in the summer, Mark Garaway, writing on PitchVision, posted on how having a coaching philosophy will make you a better coach.  Mark’s conclusion – it’s not only about the words (having a “mission statement” for your philosophy), but whether the coach lives and breathes their philosophy.

Adam Kelly has just taken a look at how the successful coaches define their philosophies.  Truly inspirational.  And the results of applying these philosophies proves their relevance – Gold medals, World Cup wins, Tour de France success.

So, perhaps I need a philosophy for my own coaching.

It needs to be simple (I can’t remember anything too complicated).  It needs to be jargon-free (it needs to be readily understood).  And (because they always are) my statement of coaching philosophy needs to be short.

OK.  With due acknowledgement to a colleague at work who, when asked to propound his sales philosophy, replied simply “just sell”[1], here is my philosophy of coaching.

Get Better

It is simple, jargon-free and short, but (I hope) at the same time more subtle than it might at first appear. Continue reading “Towards a philosophy of coaching”

Indoor cricket – what can we learn? What should we coach?

No sooner had we finished our last games of the summer season than we started into the indoor cricket season.  Two senior teams and 6 Colts’ teams have been entered into various competitions over the winter.

With so much indoor cricket in prospect, it seems sensible for the coaches to run a few sessions around the specifics of the indoor game, at least until we start to work on pre-season drills for the new summer season. Continue reading “Indoor cricket – what can we learn? What should we coach?”