Has your cricket club got a coach?
I'm talking about the senior section here, not the colts or youth teams. If not, have you ever considered why not?
I know that at the clubs I have played the answer to both questions is 'no'.
I also know that every single side I have played in would have benefited from a coach, but perhaps not in the way you imagine. You see coaching is about more than telling a batsman to play straight or a bowler to get more side on (to paraphrase Vern Gambetta).
Most senior players would not benefit from detailed technical advice like this. What most teams do need though, is someone to take overall charge: Someone responsible for managing and organising the team to achieve as much as they can in their league.
Ask yourself: Would your club benefit from someone who can do all this?
- Run net sessions. Nets are typically very poorly organised. Someone in overall charge could plan sessions ahead and do specialist work with players who would not normally get any attention.
- Run fitness sessions. Many players want to be fitter for cricket and health reasons but may not know where to start. A coach can write fitness plans, introduce players to the gym, help with nutrition and incorporate fitness into cricket practice sessions.
- Develop players. Every player has individual goals. The coach can work with you to find out what these are and help you achieve them. This can include technical skills, attitude and anything else that can help with your cricket.
- Manage matchday preparation. Warm ups and cool downs need a central figure to drive them. The coach can plan ahead and make sure the players are ready physically and mentally at the start of play, during the game and even afterwards before we all hit the bar.
- Control the bigger picture. Cricketers by their nature find it hard to see beyond their own performances. A coach can look at the team as a whole, help objectives to be set and keep the team on the right path through the season.
Think how your club does these things at the moment. If yours is anything like mine it's fairly chaotic.
Now imagine how different things would be with a coach. Your cricket practice would be better and this will lead to more runs, wickets and wins.
Whatever level you play.
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