Match rules again – providing positive incentives for positive cricket

It’s that time of year, again.  The League is consulting on possible changes to match regulations for the 2013 season.  And the proposal this year is to play a lot more limited overs below 1st XI.

I can’t fault the logic behind the proposals.  1st XIs already play a lot of limited-over cricket (National, regional and League cup competitons, twenty20, some Sunday league formats), so lower XIs should too.  Many Captains throughout the League, but especially below 1st XI Premier, probably do not really know how to manage a “time” game, let alone how to win one.

But, as I have written before, my preference for the time game stems from a desire to see all of the skills of the game come into play, and limited overs cricket can (sometimes) require limited skills – what space is there for the young spinner to learn to deceive the batsman with flight, for example?

I suspect the battle might be lost, this time.  Match rules can be imposed to restrict overly defensive field placings, but perhaps there are more creative ways of providing positive incentives for positive cricket. Continue reading Match rules again – providing positive incentives for positive cricket

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