After decades in the game, coach Vic Williams has been recognised by the Coach of the Year panel. He is the latest coach of the month.
The panel are constantly hunting for coaches who are doing great work under the radar. Vic is exactly that type of coach. Well-known in the Queensland, Australia coaching setup for his skills, he is not a household name around the world. Yet he has been tireless in his efforts.
Vic has been coaching since the 1990’s when he gravitated to helping younger players in his team before coaches were commonplace. It was in 2001, when he became a development officer in Queensland where his work started in earnest.
Vic quickly established himself as a coach who got the best from the players in his charge. Through the years he has been involved at every level: Queensland youth teams (Under 15’s and Under 19’s), regional academies, Queensland Fire, Queensland Bulls and Brisbane Heat.
His three decade passion for coaching is most strong in fast bowling, where he has a fantastic reputation for developing young bowlers and getting the most out of first-class quicks. Players from every level are using his skills as a consultant through his coaching company, Vic Williams Cricket Coaching.
Vic’s philosophy is based around a modern player-centered style. Unlike many “old-school” coaches, Vic has developed his style over the years based on what works. He talks about getting buy-in from players, providing a vision and helping them work the answers out themselves. This approach highlights his curious mind, always engaged with the problem-solving of cricket.
There is a consultancy approach to Vic’s coaching. He told PitchVision that trying to tell players what to do is difficult because the shutters come down. With so much information easily available these days, many cricketers are hamstrung by “knowing it all” and not being open to fresh ideas. One of the coaches greatest skills, according to Vic, is to prevent and lower those barriers to help players push themselves forwards.
That said, Vic was also clear on his thoughts on fast bowling,
“At the end of the day, bowling is as it always has been: Run in, get everything moving towards the target and get it through!”
He has embraced technology like video analysis to assist him with this process. The rules of nature may not have changes, but showing a player a replay makes it much easier for them to understand what they need to do.
Vic also talked to PitchVision about flexibility in technique. Over the years he has seen that cricketers aged 14-19 are in the best position to establish a bowling action that works for them. At this stage you can use your skill as a coach to identify what works for a player and what can be changed to improve pace and accuracy.
Players like Geoff Thompson and Lasith Malinga had unique “slingy” actions that worked for them, but don’t work for the “average bloke”. A good coach, Vic told PitchVision, is able to hone a unique talent - never coaching robots - while also getting the basics nailed down.
It’s these insights, alongside his decades of unrecognised hard work, that makes Vic Williams the panel’s choice for Coach of the Month.
Click here to find out more about Vic Williams Cricket Coaching.