How you can instantly be a better cricket coach | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How you can instantly be a better cricket coach

A long time ago in another life I was a fitness instructor at a big gym.

Even back in the late 90's people would tell me at their first sessions that they didn't want to get too bulky. They wanted to tone up. As we know, it's all but impossible to accidentally get too big.

What's this got to do with cricket coaching?

Well, what was happening in that gym happens on cricket pitches all over the world.

We make assumptions. Mostly those assumptions are right and we couldn't live very well if every little detail needed to be explained all the time. It's a good thing we do so.

But sometimes those assumptions are wrong and they hold us back. Like assuming weightlifting will make you bulky. Or you have to be side on when batting

Changing language

As a coach (or fitness instructor) your job is to change those assumptions. It's not easy to do but you can make a start instantly just by changing the language you use.

In fitness terms this might mean saying "using resistance to improve power and speed while reducing injury risk". This is a lot more attractive than "working to failure", although it is exactly the same thing.

As a coach you can break down player assumptions in the same way:

  • Encouraging development of all-round skills, both as a cricketer and in more general athletic skills like running, jumping, changing direction and throwing.
  • Pointing out what a player should be doing rather than what he or she is not doing.
  • Giving feedback on positive technical points as well as negative ones.

The most important element of this is being open-minded yourself. As coaches we can't break down the assumptions of others if we carry too many wrong ones ourselves. Other than the weightlifting myth, some of the assumptions I see regularly include:

  • Winning is more important than fun for young players.
  • Fast bowlers only need to bowl to get fit.
  • Protein is bad for your kidneys.
  • You can either bowl fast or line and length, not both.
  • You need to train your forearms to be a better batsman.
  • All you need to do at training is have a bat and bowl in the net.
  • Sport psychology is only for the crazy.

I'm sure you come across many assumptions in the players you coach. This is especially true of younger players. Simply by the way you speak you can eliminate them and help them become better.

Image credit: steeljam


Broadcast Your Cricket Matches!

Ever wanted your skills to be shown to the world? PV/MATCH is the revolutionary product for cricket clubs and schools to stream matches, upload HD highlights instantly to Twitter and Facebook and make you a hero!

PV/MATCH let's you score the game, record video of each ball, share it and use the outcomes to take to training and improve you further.

Click here for details.


Well said David.

I have a question for you. There is a lot of talk about Mark Ramprakash being selected for the last test at the Oval (Personally, I think they should, he is scoring a load of runs and he will get the chance to "exercise a few demons").

If lets say Ramps got selected and you had one hour with him before he went out to bat in the first innings against the Aussies to what I can imagine would be a ton of sledging and 'mental disintegration' that will be aimed at digging up some old wounds. As a sport psychologist, what would be saying to Ramps in that one hour before he goes out to bat, knowing what he is going to face?

The worst vice is advice as they say. I'm not sure if I would say much at all, perhaps give him some simple tips on how to stay focused and in his own 'bubble' of batting, keeping external pressures outside. I might stress he has nothing to lose whether he succeeds or fails. But he probably already knows that stuff. The biggest fear he has to face is his own fear and there is not much anyone else can do about that for a one off game.