Coach Education is one of the cornerstones of Cricket Without Boundaries projects – it is what helps ensure cricket, and the delivery of HIV/AIDS health messages through cricket, continues to be sustained after a project has been completed.
Currently, Coach Education on project typically takes two forms. The first is formal training of teachers and others in the community as coaches – introducing them to the basics of the game and the integration of the ABC T and S messages. The second is the more informal up-skilling and development of CWB ambassadors and other coaches from the various national cricket associations.
Whenever Cricket Without Boundaries delivers formal Coach Education we are focusing on two key areas:
How to coach
The structure of sports coaching is often quite alien to teachers used to operating in classrooms with large numbers of students, where the majority of learning is delivered through “chalk and talk” lecturing. One of our biggest challenges is asking teachers to step out of their comfort zone by keeping talking to a minimum and doing to a maximum! We use the coaching method to achieve this, introducing one coaching point at a time and ensuring players get lots of goes.
What to coach
Particularly when delivering cricket in a town for the first time we have to ensure that this includes not just the individual cricket specific skills, but also how they fit into a game. Throughout this process teachers must be trained in the integration of HIV/AIDS health messages, including empowering teachers to identify fresh opportunities to use the messages.
2016 sees a rejuvenation of Cricket Without Boundaries Coach Education delivery. This has focused on three key areas:
1. Updating resources to meet the needs of coaches in country, as well as our volunteers
2. Creation of a comprehensive Cricket Without Boundaries coaching pathway that supports the development of coaches at all levels in country
3. Standardisation of delivery of Coach Education across all countries, while still allowing for necessary flexibility
Spring 2016 projects will be the first to use the new Cricket Without Boundaries specific coaching cards. The new cards feature a standardised format that includes illustrative images, coaching points, and clear direction on the integration of ABC & T messages. They can be downloaded here: http://cricketcoachingblog.co.uk/2016/02/17/coaching-cards/
As the Internet becomes increasingly accessible in-country – through the use of smart phones and mobile Internet – the resource is now also available online, at www.cricketwithoutboundaries.com/coaching – allowing coaches to gain access to the latest information and ideas as resources are updated and new content added.
The new CWB Coaching Pathway features four levels of delivery:
CWB Introduction to Cricket
An introduction to the game of cricket, giving coaches the skills to teach very simple batting, bowling, fielding and games. Introduces the coaching method and the integration of HIV/AIDS messages. 4-6 hours long
This course is not assessed, and is designed to give coaches a taste of cricket and cricket coaching.
The long-term ambition would be for this course to be delivered by CWB ambassadors in advance of CWB projects, which would allow greater targeted Coach Education delivery (Levels A and B, below) on project.
Level A – Basics of Cricket
A basic coaching course that gives coaches the knowledge and understanding to run safe sessions that will develop player’s cricket specific skills so they can play
a simple game of pairs cricket. 8-10 hours long
This course has a simple competency assessment, focusing primarily on coach understanding of the coaching method, safety, and the use of ABC & T.
Beyond Level A
The long-term aim is to deliver ICC-accredited courses that equate to “Level 2” and above – with this initially taking the form of pre-written courses by ICC but ultimately leading to the development of CWB specific Level B and C courses.
Standardisation of Delivery
New tutor notes have been produced to allow ECB tutors and experienced project tutors to deliver standardised course content. This should mean that no matter who goes to deliver the Coach Education, candidates should have similar experiences, coming away with the same key learning.
In the long term this will allow swifter progression of coaches up the Cricket Without Boundaries coaching pathway and will tackle past problems of excessive repetition of content, which was particularly relevant in towns where delivery has been taking place for several years.
We hope that these changes will help drive the continual development of cricket in our five countries. By offering an increasingly joined-up approach we will continue to raise the profile of cricket in the areas we work in, meaning more young people regularly playing the sport while shouting about the importance of Abstaining, Being Faithful and Protecting themselves – even when we aren’t there to shout along with them!