Old School Coaching vs. New School Coaching: Which is Best? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Old School Coaching vs. New School Coaching: Which is Best?

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Let's talk about "old school" coaching.

What's that?

It's high on my mind recently because of the appointment of Darren Lehmann to the Australian coach position. He has been sold in the media as the "non nonsense, straight talking" option. He's not about powerpoint presentations, an injury potential matrix or any other modern coaching term. In other words, he is old school.

A lot of people are screaming in celebration that common sense has returned to coaching.

Me, I'm not so sure.

There's a general rule that says trends in coaching are like a pendulum. On one side is the "old school" way, on the other side is the "new school" way. Whenever the pendulum swings too far one way, momentum will always bring it back towards the middle.

And it is true that the pendulum seemed to have reached it's apex at the new school end. So the natural reaction is to swing back the other way and go back to the days where coaching was all about plain speaking.

But coaching - at every level - is not about old or new school. It's about results.

It's about making the most of the resources you have to get the best from your players.

If you are coaching an International team you have vast back room staff who are all basing their jobs on effectiveness. You would be a fool not to listen, process the data and direct your resources. That's all new school thinking.

If you are coaching a small grass-roots team you are probably not only coaching but also umpiring, scoring and doing 20 other things. Your practice sessions may be completely "old school" because you just don't have time or attention to do anything fancy.

So the best coaches take as much as they can from both approaches.

They drop the old school barking from the back of the net to "get your elbow up" because they know very few people learn that way.

They don't bother with player profiling because they don't have the time to go one to one with each player, and besides the team are mostly playing for fun not performance.

But they also know how to run nets effiently, to coach straight bat technique in a group in the old fashioned way. And they are able to really help players develop new shots, yorkers and mental preparation in the new ways too.

So don't count yourself as new or old. Aim to keep learning, base your coaching on evidence and always focus on results first. I reckon that's what Lehmann is doing, despite the media image.

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