Follow the leader

As the England cricket team prepares for the test series against India, the spotlight falls inevitably on their new captain, Alastair Cook.  Largely untried as a leader at the highest level, general opinion seems to be in favour of Cook’s appointment.  Top batsman, good team player, resolute under pressure.

Cook’s predecessor, Andrew Strauss, alongside coach Andy Flower, saw England take the no. 1  position in the ICC Test rankings  (a position subsequently lost to South Africa), so Cook has a tough act to follow.

But what makes a leader?  In sport, or in business?

There is a clue in the title – a leader needs to lead.  Sometimes from the front (opening the batting in a Test match; first into the office and last out); sometimes by offering advice and support; sometimes simply by providing the space for others to flourish.

But a leader also needs to be followed.  And that can be the tricky part.

Continue reading Follow the leader

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?