My aim here is to provide budding young cricketers with an opportunity to further their game and help them play at the highest possible level. I want to create an environment for young cricketers where they can work on their game, without having the added stress of their team coach or selector looking on. I feel that I can use my experiences to help make these players independent thinkers. Too often I see players do exactly what they see on TV, or exactly what they are told by their coaches, without understanding why they are doing it. I strive to change this. My opinion on coaching is that, we, as coaches should put the nitty gritty, technical aspects of the game aside, and focus on making players more aware of what they are doing, so that they can really understand their own game, to make them better players. Obviously we need to learn the basics right first, but in some cases, young children can be slightly 'over-coached' resulting in a very confused, and relatively un-aware young cricketer.
The reason players like Tendulkar and Ponting seem to have so much time when playing their shots is that they do not merely play the game, they read it. They are aware of everything that is going on around them; everything down to a slight movement in the bowlers muscles!
Working in India has given me a huge insight into the type of work required to take your skills to the next level. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Sachin Tendulkar's mentor, Makarand Waingankar, who was recounting stories about the kind of work Sachin has put into his game over the years. To this day, after playing 20 years of international cricket, Sachin still trains 8 hours a day when hes not on tour. He will do two hours of fitness and up to 6 hours on skills and drills. These skills and drills are not just him hitting balls for the sake of hitting them; he is still perfecting, what seems to be a perfect all round game.
It is my goal here, to create cricketers to become independant thinkers, and cricketers who understand, and are aware of their own game. I want to see a huge change in the way the young cricketers of today think about the game. As I said before, cricket is a game that you must read. Turning up and playing on Saturday simply isn't enough. I want to change this, and get the players to think in a way in which they will be the ones responsible for their own success.