Long time reader Arvind got in touch about this post:
If sledging were to be accepted as a part of the game of cricket, would we then have to coach it like the other disciplines?
That got me to thinking. Is he right and if so what else should coaches be coaching at club level?
- Sledging. As you know I'm against crossing the line with personal attacks. However, why shouldn't a coach teach players how to bluff? I would argue that kids need to know where the line is and the best way to do that (no matter where you think the line is) is to coach it. So, yes Arvind in a way we should coach sledging.
- Running. Running fast is pretty important in cricket and research has proven speed can be improved with better technique. Yet it is hardly coached at all. I know the ECB are encouraging new coaches to learn drills to teach running but there is still a long way to go in coach awareness and education.
- Captaincy. Most people learn about captaincy by playing but this can leave gaps in knowledge. Captaincy nuts and bolts should be coached so all players are aware of the basics. It's easy to coach during practice games.
- Eating. Good eating habits can make a huge difference to performance yet it's a factor virtually ignored at club level. A coach can't watch a player eat every meal but they can teach the basics of what a cricketer's diet should be like. It would be a great topic for a coaching session when it's raining.
- Leading. If captaincy is the â€˜what' then leadership is the â€˜how'. Good leaders inspire others to greater things and while some believe it is a god given trait there is no reason stopping anyone from developing their skills in this area with the right coaching.
- Dealing with mistakes. We are often told that sport build character. I don't believe that. I think it reveals the character we already have but we have the power to change that. If you are bad at dealing with mistakes you can be coached on how to brush them aside and get on with the game.
- Diversity. The world of sport is becoming increasingly specialised increasingly early. We should all have coaches who encourage us to participate in other activities to help us develop skills we can transfer to cricket. Cricket coaches could easily team up with fitness facilities and other sports coaches to the benefit of the players involved.
I think a lot of coaches don't do these things because they are not aware of them. It's a lot to ask the average club volunteer of a youth section. Hopefully this site is helping to fill that gap somewhat. What do you think? How is your coach (or your coaching) at the 'non-cricket skills' stuff?
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