I recently received an email from a coach who has a plan to become a professional coach He asks what is the best path and process he can follow to help him meet his goal.
Here is my reply. This is the first part and I will finish off in the next article (link at the bottom).
There are two paths to develop your knowledge and competency as a coach. There is the formal path and the informal path. Let's deal with the formal pathway here.
Formal pathways are through the Coach Education structures that are provided by the National Governing Body for Cricket in your country or region.
I am lucky to be living in England where the ECB have driven Coach Education and I personally owe a lot of my experiences over the past 20 years to the structure and people that the ECB have put in place to develop coaches in this country.
When to start coaching
I would encourage any interested cricketer or cricket person to start their coaching learning through enrolling on the entry level course.
The diagram below shows the entry level options available in the UK through the ECB:
The names of the courses may differ in your region or nation yet the content will be similar. Get on board if you have not done so already.
In more mature Coach Education systems, you will note that there are numerous entry points which relate to your own circumstances. The ECB run courses for Teachers (Primary and Secondary) and ones for people interested in working outside of the school environment (Cricket Activator and Coach Support Worker).
These course cater for different environments while offering solid, proven coaching practice examples that stay with you through your coaching life.
Case study: Paul Wood
Paul sent me the original question and is already a UKCC Level 2 coach. His next formal pathway steps are to choose his most prevalent coaching market working with either Young People and Adults or Children.
By completing the bespoke modules and passing the assignments, Paul will then receive a Diploma in coaching young people and adults or a Diploma in coaching children.
It’s great that the ECB have split these two syllabuses as we all recognise that coaching those two different groups of people require 2 different skill sets.
Once Paul has his diploma the next step is to work into the Performance Coaching section of the pathway.
This is a course split over three 3 day modules covering a huge number of topics delivered by experts in their respective areas. It is a real hike in terms of specificity around the cricket skills whilst moulding in communication, leadership and planning elements.
The minimum qualification that Counties, Regions and States will look for when employing Performance Coaches will be UKCC Level 3 (or equivalent).
Once Paul has conquered this course then he will be able to apply for Performance roles with some confidence and also attract higher quality players into 1 to 1 sessions during his private coaching hours.
In the next article we examine coaching in the professional game and informal learning opportunities for all. Click here to read it now.