Gary Kirsten’s Message to School Cricket Coaches


 “2022 is upon us and with it, a great opportunity for coaches to continue their journey of learning and self-development. The importance of coaches learning more about coaching and leadership can’t be more overstated. The holistic development of every player we work with is at stake and we as coaches have to become better versions of ourselves to have a meaningful and significant influence on the players that we have the RESPONSIBILITY and PRIVILEGE to lead.

 “The quality of any intervention is directly related to the interior condition of the intervenor.” (Bill O’Brien)

 I love this quote as it continually asks the question of us as coaches and leaders – “What are our intentions and motivations when coaching a young player or a team?” We have to be very careful not to use the opportunity to dump our own frustrations and emotions on the players whom we coach, and always stay focussed on our number one priority of developing skill.

 A school coach’s most vital role is to assist a school player in their development and continued progress. This is certainly not possible if the players have any suspicions that the actual priority of the coach is to win games for their own benefit, so that they can be recognised as a high performing coach.

 There needs to be balance of course as there is nothing wrong with striving to win. A noble cause which teaches about the values of competition. The interest in winning is also deeply ingrained in our society, however we need to be very careful that we do not seek to win at the risk and detriment of what we stand for as people. For many, winning at all costs has become a way to define who they are and they then measure their own worth through the win or lose column. Winning and losing is often seen as a metric for determining success. However, if handled correctly and carefully, both have a crucial role to play in the development of a young player as they journey through life with all of its trials and tribulations both on and off the sports field.

 Playing sport is designed to test the value system of all the custodians who participate. Whether you’re a player, coach or official. Everyone’s behaviour is under scrutiny and as custodians of the game, our responsibility as coaches, is to lead our players to behave responsibly and appropriately at all times. There is no place for unscrupulous behaviour which puts into question the values of the contests between teams or players. Those that “overstep the mark” and coaches that are accepting of any unsportsmanlike behaviour, are equally not serving the game and upholding its values and traditions. As cricket coaching practitioners, we should not tolerate this behaviour.

 Wishing all coaches, a fantastic 2022 with much learning and discovery.

 Gary Kirsten


Co-founder CoachED Cricket

[email protected]