Cricket is like a religion in India. Around 766 million people watch the game as per a study in 2018. With a large number of coaching centres, sports equipment manufacturers, celebrity management companies and other stakeholders, the game has a $150 billion valuation. Youth in India is crazy about cricket, to say the least. Coaches have a huge responsibility in training these budding youngsters. So, how do you become a successful coach? Let’s see.
A Good Coach Focuses on Specific Issues
A good coach should never generalize a problem and put the blame equally on others. The point being, finding out individual issues and focusing on it is explicitly the need of the hour. If a batsman is getting run out quite frequently, you should sit with him and explain how he should give a call and when listening to the non-striker is crucial. To be an excellent coach, micro specifications are essential. Even though it’s the team that wins or loses, it’s wrong to blame every individual. It is always the fault of a few players in the team.
Prepare for Individual Sessions
Advanced technology has changed the way coaching is done in cricket. Features like slow motion capturing, motion analysis and twin window comparison have given considerable freedom to coaches to design individual sessions and make players acquainted with hard data. What do these sessions do? Instead of regular practice, they pinpoint at a particular area like swing bowling and give feedback based on the bowler’s performance. A good coach should be able to prepare these individual sessions with a target in mind. Even though most teams have a separate batting, bowling, and fielding coach, you must be vigilant with the team’s progress as a head coach.
Trust Your Players Potential
Player-coach conflict is not a new thing in the cricketing circuit in India. It destroys the motivation of the team and the performance level decreases naturally. In these circumstances, it is quite a challenge for even celebrated coaches to keep the team spirit high and avoid ego issues. So, trusting your player’s potential is important. That is not to say that if the player doesn’t perform, you still keep him playing. But, just for a 1 or 2 match non-performance, do not drop him from the team. Consistency and aggregate performance should be the key here. Build a good relationship with your players and give them sufficient chances to prove themselves. When a player knows that the coach trusts him, his urge to perform well increases and benefits the team in the long term.
Know The Strength and Weakness of Your Team
As a coach, you should have full knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your team. It can be a brilliant opening pair, or spin bowling, or a phenomenal pace attack; as a coach, you need to work on your team’s advantages while minimizing the weakness. We have seen how Asian teams falter on pacey, green wickets on Australia/UK/South Africa and vice versa. These are strategic decisions that have to keep in mind while deciding your team. Coaches often become overconfident on their team results in defeat. Because with the confidence you choose wrong players according to your bias and the moment you downgrade merit, you have failed as a coach.
Provide Resources to Your Players
Players who cannot afford to buy equipment and kits need to be helped. The responsibility of a coach does not end in just practice sessions. He should let the team management and the sponsors know about the problems and provide the necessary resources like pads, gloves, helmet and other essential things. In addition to this, give the players detailed video footage of the practice sessions to see their mistakes while at home. Many players find it difficult to rectify their problems due to the lack of resources. This needs to be eliminated as soon as possible and ensure that no one lacks the required equipment necessary to uplift their performances.
Try to Understand Others Point of View
Your team might not be playing well during certain seasons and those are times when you must listen to your players patiently. Let them speak out their mind and ask them what could have been done to avoid this. Many coaches behave very aggressively with their players after a bad day or a series defeat leading to an atmosphere of fear. A good coach should point out every single mistake but also hear their issues on the field. Personal issues and lack of confidence sometimes make players out of focus leading to poor performances like catch miss and sloppy fielding, getting out at bad deliveries and inconsistent bowling. Talk to them and get their point of view. The more you can sort out personal issues and problems, you are a better coach than others.
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