Coaches have a different way of seeing the game: Gary Kirsten

Coaches have a different way of seeing the game: Gary Kirsten

Gary Kirsten
Coach Gary Kirsten chats with a trainee

Former South Africa batsman Gary Kirsten and coach Ryan Cook, shared their experiences with 15 coaches from Mumbai during an interactive session at the Saldanha International Academy’s (SIA) Cricket Clinic at Mumbai Police Gymkhana, Marine Drive, on Thursday.

Kirsten, who coached India to victory in the 2011 World Cup, had a long session with the local coaches offering them many valuable tips, taking their queries and providing solutions to their problems.

The former South African batsman said that coaching is quite challenging and that “all players think we (coaches) have all the answers.” He also said, “Coaches have a different way of seeing the game and have a different opinion of batting and bowling, but every coach has something to offer.”

The South African advised the local coaches that there was no point in scolding a player if he played a bad shot and got out or if a bowler wasn’t bowling in the right areas and giving away too many runs. “Coaches have to mind their language and should not react angrily and shout at their players. The best way is to speak to the player after some time, maybe during the next training session,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cook opined that the best way to work with players is by trying to get them to answer their own questions and let them figure out their own mistakes rather than asking them why it happened. He explained, “Why is a dangerous word as they (players) think we are challenging them! So it’s better to ask them in a totally different way, like saying, ‘Do you think you played the right shot or bowled the correct delivery?”

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On the training aspect, both Kirsten and Cook believe that a coach needs to have an objective along with discipline and routine. “For a net session, a coach should have an objective and set goals. The most important things is to maintain discipline. If you ensure that there is discipline during nets, the cricketer will carry the same into the match. But, if you practice loosely, then they will also play loosely during the match,” Kirsten said.

Kirsten mentioned that he enjoys coaching as it has been more fun than playing the game. He said he loves to work with youngsters and help them become better cricketers.

Earlier in the day, Kirsten monitored the batting and bowling performances of the 44 trainees during a net session. Kirsten told the batsmen that they should not lose their wicket and to score off the bad balls. He mentioned that it was paramount for them to keep a steady head and to watch the ball while playing their strokes. He explained that if they did not keep their eye on the ball it would not be possible to hit it in the areas they wanted to.

Similarly, Kirsten told the bowlers to keep their heads steady, focus on the correct action and to bowl in the right areas. He said that if they maintain a proper line just outside the off-stump, it would help them pick wickets. Maintaining balance is the key he told the trainees. At the other end of the ground, Cook put the other bunch of trainees through running between the wickets and fielding drills.

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