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Cricket Australia Coach Developer Pilot

Putting the Bounce back into West Australian Cricket

In late 2016 the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and Cricket Australia (CA) embarked on a pilot program to improve coaching in the junior and community ranks of the sport. CA was working on new junior formats to arrest the decline in participation across Australia and was keen to introduce new development techniques for coaches. The ASC had been trialling Coach Development pilots with other national sporting organisations (NSOs) and floated the idea as an addition to the CA coaching framework.

CA recognised several key areas that needed addressing:

  • make the game fun and engaging
  • improve coaching techniques
  • improve player retention
  • transition coaching techniques to the new and exciting formats of cricket.

The pilot was launched with the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) and targeted at junior and community level. An initial intake of 10 coach developers from the larger metropolitan clubs were invited to an induction session with the ASC, CA and the WACA.

The Coach Developers were trained in techniques to develop and support community-level  coaches face-to-face. The interactive sessions focussed on skills for communicating before, during and after training sessions. Many of the skills discussed had been implemented in an ad-hoc way across these clubs, and this session helped formalise the program and fill gaps within each of the clubs’ current coaching environment.

The initial pilot was run at the end of the 2016-17 cricket season, the initial benefits showed an increase in coach and player retention into the 2017-18 cricket season.

The pilot has been extended into a further six clubs for season 2017-18 with a strategy to roll-out across Western Australia in the next few seasons.

The initial intake of 10 Coach Developers have drafted a position description for a minimum viable product to be launched in cricket clubs. This description is a great tool to help clubs introduce this role and select the right people for the job.

The Coach Developers noticed a marked improvement in club-to-club relationships, the ability to defuse any issues at a club level was another positive outcome of the pilot.

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