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?

Grooving that stroke…does music help?

Interesting net session yesterday, working with a batsman to get ready for the new season.  Lots of work on grooving the bat path, a little on developing bat speed.

We were next to a group who had set up a (small) speaker in their net, and played music during their practice.

This could have been a distraction – we generally practice in a controlled (even slightly sterile) environment, where the only sounds are bat on ball, or ball on canvas, or occasionally the slap of skipping ropes and bouncing medballs – but I saw real benefits from having the music playing.

Continue reading Grooving that stroke…does music help?

Sledging – the missing component from the coaches’ tool kit?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I sometimes used “sledging” as a coaching tool.

This is something I picked up working with an experienced Aussie coach – that the coach can sometimes use a little psychological pressure to focus the player on the challenge at hand.

“Can you hit this one?  I don’t think you can.”

Not because the player will “just have to get used to sledging” when she starts playing.  Not abuse, not questioning the player’s parentage (I work with young players – Mum or Dad will be standing next to the net!), certainly not banal “banter“…but I will tell a batter that I think I have spotted a weakness, and that I am going to put his technique to the test.