Imagine you could get any coach in the world to coach you. Who would you pick?
Would you go for a great player like Ian Botham? Perhaps a coach with a proven pedigree at the highest level like Duncan Fletcher. Maybe there is a more local person who has won the trust of players in your area. Whoever it is on your wish list you might be closer than you think to getting them to coach you.
The trick, according to author Tim Ferriss, is to just ask:
"I... send a two- to three-paragraph e-mail which explains that you are familiar with their work, and ask one simple-to-answer but thought-provoking question in that e-mail related to their work or life philosophies. The goal is to start a dialogue so they take the time to answer future e-mails - not to ask for help. That can only come after at least three or four genuine e-mail exchanges."
The key for me is a genuine desire to build a relationship with that person. The side effect is coaching advice.
It's all about networking
The business world calls this 'networking' and consider it crucial to their world. Why should cricket be any different? The bottom line is the same: If you want to get on you need to have good relationships with people who can help you.
For example, through this blog I often get email requests for advice. The mistake most people make when contacting me is that they have no interest in me, my philosophies or trying to establish contact beyond getting free advice.
While I'm happy to help if I can, I can imagine people with more status would just ignore your mail or call.
So what do you do to get the best coaches?
- Identify 5-10 cricket people you would love to get to know personally
- Do some research and find out how to email or call them
- Reach out like Tim Ferriss advises (it helps if you have something to offer)
- Keep in touch
If you gain your guru's trust (and this is not supposed to be cynical manipulation) it won't be long before you can ask the odd bit of advice. After that the sky's the limit.
It's all about having the confidence in yourself to find, talk to and persevere with building up a friendship with someone you respect. Your only limit is your imagination and hard work. It has worked for me in getting in touch with people I respect in the game like Ian Pont.
For more on networking and personal development take a look at The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
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