By Apurva S Desaii
(The author is the Cricket Performance Director at KOOH Sports. He is a former First Class cricketer from Gujarat. He is a BCCI Level C Coach with 15 years of coaching experience. For last 5 years, he has been a batting coach for National Cricket Academy (NCA)/BCCI age group camps and as batting faculty for various Coaches Training Courses. Since the last few years he is personally coaching some of India ‘A’ players and First class players during the pre-season and tactically during the matches. He has been the senior selector for Gujarat Cricket Association for over 5 years.)
India is a country where cricket is a religion, a country filled with passionate cricket fans. Almost every Indian kid grows up dreaming of becoming a cricketer. Every kid dreams about it but at some point, they give up and start to just watch cricket. Seeing the passion Indians have for cricket, it amazes me how so many dream of becoming a player and then give up without even having a look at other options. The purpose of this blog is to not only provide information about cricket coaching but also to try to inspire people to not give up on their passion so easily. Go out there and train harder don’t give up before your peak years. And if you have seen the light that you are not good enough to become a professional cricketer then don’t give up on your passion either there are many professions you can still consider where you will be involved in the game you love and one of them is Cricket Coaching.
Becoming a cricket coach is not all that simple though, in your head you might think, “Cricket coaching? Well, that’s simple! Teaching others what I already know – playing cricket!”. But that’s not all a good coach needs to know. Coaching any sport is both scientific and artistic. A coach must not only understand the techniques and skills of the game but needs to know how to teach them. Every player comes with strengths and weaknesses and a good coach must be able to identify them and adapt to a style of coaching which is best for the player. Elite coaches in cricket are able to fully absorb the science of this sport – they develop cricket superstars just by making very tiny changes in grip of the ball or the flick of the wrist. They also understand the psychology of players and mentor them well to overcome their mental barriers. A good coach also needs to be organized, disciplined and most importantly he must be able to communicate well.
What is Cricket Coaching?
Cricket Coaching is helping an aspiring player in pursuing his dream of becoming a cricketer. Improving the players and the team’s performance is what cricket coaching is all about. It is a journey where one begins at the grass root level teaching the basics of the game to kids, moving on to the competitive stage where a lot of technical and tactical coaching is required and finally moving on to the top level where there is a lot of 1 on 1 coaching involved.
How to become a Cricket Coach?
Anyone with passion for the game can become a cricket coach. There are many ways one can receive qualification for becoming a cricket coach:
- Get nominated by the BCCI through the state association to attain a coaching qualification. There are different course levels: A, B and C.
- Get the NIS certificate or degree courses.
- Go to the National Skill Development Corporation and do a Vocational Coaching Course for Cricket.
- Go overseas and do cricket courses with other setups like Cricket Australia or ICC.
You can learn other skills by attending seminars and workshops where you could go and upgrade yourself.
Education and the Coach’s role
You can learn about cricket coaching by reading books about cricket, autobiography of former players and coaches can provide valuable knowledge and insights of the game. You can learn the techniques, drills and almost anything you need information about from the internet and watching videos on YouTube.
A cricket coach’s role is to improve a player’s game and the team’s performance. The coach must possess knowledge about and teach the players the following:
- Sports Psychology
- Health and Safety
- Child Engagement
- Coaches must be good at communication as they deal with players coming from different backgrounds. The coach also needs the communication skills to maintain discipline (in the case of kids in general).
- Coaches must be able to multitask as they play so many roles, a teacher and motivator to the players, manager, administrator and selector of the team to name some. The requirements differ as per the environment.
- Coaches must be able to manage time wisely while making sure they are the first coming in to training and last going out.
- Coaches are also required to have interpersonal skills as maintaining good relationships with everyone from the players to everyone working with them.
- Coaches should also be good at providing motivation to the players as it is very important to keep everyone motivated which helps maintaining the energy in the group.
- Coaches in today’s world should be a little tech savvy, i.e. good at computer skills. Modern coaching is data driven with video analysis being an essential part of the coach’s life.
- Coaches should be good at human resources as they need to find people like an assistant coach, a physiotherapist, etc. in their team and not find just any random assistant coach or physiotherapist but someone who is capable enough and can be trusted.
- Coaches need to be physically fit as it is very difficult especially in the summer to stay hydrated and maintain the energy for long hours in the sun.
- Cricket coaching provides a good career opportunity. A cricket coach from India has a good prospect as there are more than 100 countries playing cricket with India being the leader. There are other things an aspiring cricket coach can pursue like becoming a video analyst, fitness trainer, etc.
- A cricket coach is a respected person in India as he is considered a guru.
- Cricket coaching also has monetary potential as the basic wage is respectable.
- There is job satisfaction for a cricket coach as you make a living doing what you love and passing on your knowledge and making others better.
- There is a lot of travelling involved. Therefore, as a cricket coach you get to go to many places around the world, meet new people strengthening your network.
- Getting the qualification is a challenge as you must wait till you get nominated by the BCCI which can take a long time considering many aspiring coaches apply.
- Cricket coaching is a very result based profession. Getting consistent results can be really challenging.
- Maintaining Work-Life balance can also be challenging specially with all those long hours of travel and staying away from the family.
A Day in the Life of a Cricket Coach
A coach’s day starts the previous night when they must plan everything for the next day.
Then wake up early in the morning and reach the ground before everyone turns up and make arrangements for the session.
Morning sessions tend to be long because the players are fresh, well rested and more receptive to advice in the morning.
At the end of the session during the lunch break the coach starts making reports about the players and discusses with the colleagues the players’ performance. And, starts planning for the evening session
Again, make arrangements for the evening session before everyone turns up.
Being in the field all day for those long hours can really take a toll physically, therefore the coach also needs to be fit. Every kid needs attention so the coach should make sure nobody feels sidelined or left up.
At the end of the day the coach must again make reports for the evening session and jot down the data of the day. And, start planning for the next day.
On match days, the coach should take part in the pre-game warm ups and then sit down and watch the match, take notes, pass information to the players, etc. Then after the end of day’s play (if it is a multiple day match) analyze the day’s performance. And then go back and start all over again.
Interested to start a career as a cricket coach? You can enroll for the KITES Cricket Training programme and develop yourself holistically as a cricket coach. The KITES programme offers both Technical and Skill based training along with vocational topics such as soft-skills, planning, session management, analytics and more. To know more, you can click here to download the brochure or click here to fill out an enquiry form.