Learning to lead through sports coaching

Cricket coaching

“Sport for me, and specifically cricket these days, is the avenue I’ve found to provide personal meaning and purpose, without it defining me”


Cricket is an endlessly fascinating game with a range of different elements that demand – and provide opportunities for – vastly differing mental and physical skill sets.

Batting requires fast thinking – completely subconsciously at the highest levels – and the ability to execute highly technical skills under extreme pressure with courage, focus, patience and self-discipline. 

Bowling needs similarly complex technical ability and handling of pressure but rewards slower thinking and planning.

Fielding demands agility, fast reactions and teamwork. And captaincy requires tactical and strategic thinking, communication and other leadership skills to an extent that is almost unique in sport – certainly in children’s sport.

A junior cricket match on a summer evening

I believe all these skills can be learnt and developed. Furthermore, I reckon they can all be developed within practice sessions that replicate elements of the game itself. But I also recognise the important role that fixed practice – notably net sessions for batsmen and bowlers – plays because of the highly technical skills that cricket demands.

The challenge all us coaches take on is to make sure all practices are fun and engaging. I believe that as long as children are practising cricket techniques and thinking about them in the context of the game itself then they will develop as cricketers and as people.

Interested in finding out more? Read about my approach to football coaching and developing leadership.