Bob Woolmer-A Dream Coach

Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 18:23 [IST]
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Bob Woolmer-A Dream Coach

Coaches differ on certain viewpoints. This creates confusion in the young trainees. Your comments.
Essentially coaches say the same thing in different ways. If there is one piece of advice I would give any player and I do. It is listen to what a coach has to say and then make a decision on what is the best way for him. There isn"t too much difference, just the method of putting the message across.

Coaching the basics to a beginner or finer points to an accomplished cricketer – which is a more difficult job – How and why?
Again a question that is not as easy to answer as you think. The basics of the game are vital. The Australians swear by them and practice them assiduously. Youngsters have the ability to learn quickly but it takes 10 years to make a senior player, which is a long time in anyone"s life! So by that statement that is going to be hard work.

A senior player has everything ingrained in him over a period of time so change is almost impossible maybe a 2/3% change at the most but it is more how you address the problem with the senior player that is the tough part. Some players are not technically orientated some are and some just make excuses. So to answer your question, probably the older player. Again, if he is at international level then he should have the right attitude to listening.

How does the initial movement help a batsman? What movement do you recommend?
The initial movement also known as the rhythm or trigger movement is beneficial to players who believe it to be. What movement is better again is an individual choice. I would teach them all and let the player decide, however the key to the initial movement is not what but when!

Does an up-right stance help? If yes – How?
Again it can help some people and not others. It is an individual preference and it is nice to be able to try it. Sir Donald Bradman did not favour it. I believe in the words comfortable, balanced and a position ready to be able to move back or forward once the length of the ball had been judged.

What gives you maximum joy as a coach?
From a team perspective a tactic that works, victory, from an individual, overcoming a problem and scoring a hundred, getting someone to bowl an outswinger or a googly or something that he has never done before. Seeing my boys with a smile on their face-enjoying cricket. My most enjoyable coaching moment was watching the SA team receiving their gold medals at the commonwealth games in 1998.

In England and Australia a coach is a friend while in India a coach is a guru and held in reverence. What should a coach – trainee relationship be? Your views.
A coach cannot be everything to everybody, so he is either a friend or foe or a guru. I believe that he should be seen as someone who has knowledge worth extracting from a river full of water, a mine full of coal. Exhaust the coach's knowledge and hope to that he keeps filling the river and that he has an inexhaustible supply of coal.

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