The conventional view in professional sports in the past was that a team’s success did not depend on the quality of its coaching. Once the team contains world-class athletes, it will defeat an opponent with inferior talent.
At the turn of the millennium, the introduction of more technology and training has forced professional teams to find dynamic ways to become proficient in every aspect of their operations. Therefore, in 2021 the importance of good coaching cannot be understated and is a key cog in a team’s success.
On September 24, 2021, Cricket West Indies revealed that they were now embarking on its first-ever locally planned and delivered High-Performance Coach Development Program. The first inception of the program will see 17 participants from across the region take part in a 12-month curriculum via a blended learning approach.
In this article, we will look at the history of coaches for the West Indies senior team, the importance of coaching today, and how the region will benefit from this program.
History of West Indies Coaches
The West Indies have a long history of outstanding cricketers throughout the years. Some of these players have occupied the capacity of head coach in the regional team such as Otis Gibson, Gus Logie, and now Phil Simmonds.
However, our plummet as the best in world cricket has coincided with our use of foreign coaches. The list of foreign coaches includes John Dyson, Bennett King, and David Moore.
All three men hail from Australia, and it is not a coincidence that they were installed as coaches because they were coming from the country that had toppled the Windies as the new world power of cricket. Their stints proved to be unsuccessful as the team lost series after series.
We are not saying that a coach outside of the region cannot succeed but a fully trained coach from within would likely be more effective because of his understanding of the culture, relatability to the players, and the challenges facing West Indies cricket.
Importance of Coaching Today
The need for a good coaching staff is essential because a large percentage of the blame or credit for the team’s success or failure is placed on them. A good coach can nurture a young talent onto the path of being the next superstar, and conversely, he can lead him astray and stifle the progress of the program. In 2021, cricket coaches are expected to use technology for strategic purposes.
For instance, he should use data analysis to determine how batsmen in the opposition often lose their wickets. Then he will have to help his bowlers to execute the plan. He can use the technology to help the batsmen see a bowler’s variation from the hand to pick up subtleties in delivery.
Coaching in today’s climate also requires you to vary your approach based on the type of player. The coach may decide to give some players more freedom while he may have to push a few to achieve greatness.
Benefits of the Program
The course will cover topics such as the Technical Basics of Elite Cricket, Program Management, Sports Psychology, Leadership, Communication, Visual Technology, and Data Analysis. The curriculum as described will enhance the holistic development of these coaches.
The inclusion of Sports Psychology is especially appealing given the importance of mental health in today’s society. One of the 17 players selected to be involved in the program is Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Chanderpaul was a brilliant and tough-minded player, but he was not considered a vocal leader.
Therefore, just imagine how he will benefit in examining ways he can communicate his message to the players and exercise different aspects of leadership. A good point to note is that there appears to be a high demand for the program because 29 certified level 2 coaches applied for the 17 spots available.
This initiative will allow coaching talent to emerge from the region and ensure that there is proper succession planning. It will improve the standard of coaching in the region and the standard of our cricket. Yes, it is one small step on the road towards the return of the glory days.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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