Ian Chappell’s – “My World of Cricket” was the bible and text book reference for all things cricket in the formative years. Many valuable lessons learned from the time available to devour the words and interpret the images fully. A long ago era, well before anything internet related could create never ending distractions.
In recent times as we reach the half way point of a new decade, 50 years since Chappelli made his Test debut, experiences gained and exposure shared in the last 12 months from Premier Cricket, Karnataka Institute of Cricket, Middlesex CCC, Senior Women’s Cricket and Cricket Victoria programs have provided a wide range of situations and encounters to enable an expansive reflection upon the methods of coaching observed and applied.
- How and when the application of different methods are best suited
- The outcome, positive and negative, that can arise from different groups
- The simplicity that is enshrined in match day routine from the best (Rogers, Morgan)
- The ability for players to learn more effectively with each other or in isolation
- The application of external reference points and visual comparison
When reflecting upon the occurrences where the introduction of knowledge or instruction has been more effective, it consistently revolves around creating the situation where the player is able to share in and drive the discussion to work out what is best for themselves.
A state of coerced analysis and thought to arrive at a point of empowerment and responsibility.
So rather than devoting time to brainstorming new drills using every type of equipment possible (which at times is more for the entertainment and interest of the coach), simplifying the improvement / review process around the skills and decisions situation leads to an outcome where an agreed consensus is found.
As an example, this may only take the physical set up of a match situation in a condensed space to understand. A half pitch, cones for angles, roll or place ball in the hitting position and work through the options to arrive at the best decisions. Not right or wrong, just the best so that the player can adapt with clarity through instinctive decision making.
As a coach, giving generic answers derived from a text book does not create a solution, typically becoming a greater part of the problem. Let players learn from experience, reflect and broaden their own awareness.
Then stepping back as a coach to reflect allows growth for all.