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Business, Focus Edition World Number 1 In All Formats

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By: Matthew Betsey •  4 years ago •  

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Cricket Australia’s focus is to be AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE SPORT – A SPORT FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS! Over 1.2 million people a year play cricket in Australia and benefit from the buzz of hitting the ball, taking a wicket or grabbing a catch, as well as enjoying the camaraderie of being part of a team.

To achieve this, Cricket Australia has a whole of pathway focus to increase participation. This will be achieved by inspiring kids and engaging communities as well as producing the best teams, players, competitions, coaches and officials in the world. From the Backyard to the Baggy Green, coaching is a key area to ensure cricket can attract young players to the game, retain players in the pathway and stretch the best cricketers so that being No.1 is inevitable!

From a coaching perspective, Cricket Australia has focused on the following five areas to bring the vision to life.

1. The Australian Cricket Pathway

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We want all cricketers to maximise their cricketing skills and enjoy a successful career. Beginning with our great MILOin2CRICKET and MILO T20BLAST programs for children and working through different representative levels to state and national teams. It is clear to all players that if they are good enough, there is a clear pathway for them to succeed.

The Australian Cricket Pathway is based on the Australian Institute of Sport FTEM model (Foundation Talent Elite Mastery) to create a clear, attractive and aligned pathway for players and coaches at all levels to future proof cricket. The model is built on skills & capabilities that align to competition formats, coaching and talent identification to ensure positive and enjoyable cricket experiences. This is a National Approach with Local Implementation that encourages Local Innovation.

Guiding principles of the Australian Cricket Pathway

 FOUNDATION SKILLS ARE CRITICAL

 INDIVIDUAL’S SKILL IS ASSESSED THROUGHOUT

 PROGRESSION IS BASED ON SKILL LEVEL

 HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT

 LEARNING IS NOT LINEAR

 PREMIER CRICKET IS CRITICAL

The Australian Cricket Pathway is easy to communicate to players and parents through consistent game formats and provides coaches with an understanding of what players need to progress through developmental stages. Coaches are supported through resources and tools provided at each level.

To further support coaches across Australia, we are training coaching facilitators, connecting with past players through a partnership with the Australian Cricketers Association, locally delivered community workshops and recognition through Coach of the Year initiatives.

2. The Australian Way Coaching philosophy

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The Australian Way Coaching Philosophy has been developed to unite and inspire coaches across Australia to focus on all players being able to ENJOY, DEVELOP, COMPETE and SUCCEED at every level. The Australian Way is best summarised by Sir Donald Bradman in his book “THE ART OF CRICKET” (1958) where he suggests when coaching (and developing players more naturally), we should tell players what we want them to do, not how to do it.

We want coaches to foster game based learning that is underpinned by the basics. The basics are important and we need to get them right early as each player will have their own way of scoring runs and taking wickets.

The Australian Way philosophy will link all components of the Australian Cricket pathway through five (5) key areas;

 COACH APPROACH – e.g. Role of the Coach

 SCORE RUNS – e.g. Batting & Running Between the Wickets

 TAKING WICKETS – e.g. Pace bowling, Spin bowling, wicket-keeping, catching & throwing

 PREPARING TO PERFORM – e.g. Physical, Mental & Nutrition preparation

 LEADING THE GAME – e.g. decision making, game awareness, strategy and tactics

Ultimately, coaches are encouraged to coach the basics in the context of SCORING RUNS and TAKING WICKETS

3. Community Coach support

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Community coaches have significant responsibility and influence the lives and sporting development of our cricket community and are the face of our great game at every oval on a Saturday morning in the city or in the country!

At a local level, coach support includes in-services to support MILO in2CRICKET and MILO T20 Blast program coordinators, the online “Introduction To Cricket” courses for junior club cricket coaches and mobile applications to deliver support direct to coaches mobile phones. This support includes developing basic skills for mums and dads to manage a group of kids and is the starting point for coaches. Cricket Australia also works with State and Territory Associations to deliver Community (Level 1) and Representative (Level 2) coaching courses.

4. Female Coach engagement

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2015/16 will see the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). This will provide a visible pathway for females and more opportunities for young talent to connect to our national programs through the National u15 and u18 carnivals.

Cricket is focused on ensuring that the game reflects the community and provides opportunity for the development of female coaches which is a key “game changer” in terms of how cricket is opening the doors and being inclusive across Australia.

Two key focus areas are;

 Increase the number of female cricket coaches in Australia

In 2015, Cricket Australia is conducting a number of initiatives to increase the number of females coaching including providing the opportunity for 500 females to attend fully funded, Community (Level 1) courses as well as High Performance Coaching opportunities including

a. Ashleigh Barty (former International Tennis player – Junior Wimbledon champion) who will coach the u15 Cricket Australia XI team (with Julia Price) in the Female National Championships and
b. Shelley Nitschke who will be Assistant Coach to Ryan Harris for the Cricket Australia XI Male u17 team competing in the U19 Male National Championships.

 Ensure females are provided opportunities to deliver coach education

As part of our Coach Development Program, we ensured that leaders across Australian Cricket are facilitating learning with our coaches including Belinda Clark (Senior Manager of the National Cricket Centre) and Christina Matthews (CEO of the WACA) Further, we have set aggressive targets to ensure more females are engaged in Community Coach Development – we aim to be World Best!

We are very committed to providing female role models in the coaching pathway and arguably the most important coaching happens at the community level. We strongly believe in developing our players and coaches (male & female) across both the male and female pathway to ensure being world class is inevitable!

5. Elite Coach Development

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The Australian Cricket Elite Coach Development Program aims to identify and develop future elite coaches in Australia so that Australian Men’s and Women’s teams, supported by the most comprehensive Coach Development system in the world, can be number one in the world in all formats.

The program will;

 identify and develop the best coaches

 provide a clear pathway for elite coaches

 develop world class cricketers

… and has four key areas for developing coaches;

1. Coach Profiling and Evaluation

As a part of being a coach in national or state High Performance programs, Cricket Australia has developed a Coach Profile and Evaluation tool through its Athlete Management System (AMS). Each coach is able to complete a profile of themselves so that they can reflect on their own coaching, they are then able to complete a 360-degree evaluation.

2. The Elite Coach (Level 4) Development Program

This targeted program is for current elite coaches who are employed within the Australian Cricket system as full-time employees and already have High Performance (Level 3) coach accreditation. The program is driven by national program staff and engages the best coaches to share their knowledge and experience e.g. Ric Charlesworth and Wayne Bennett in 2015.

3. The High Performance Coaching Program

The Cricket Australia (CA) High Performance Coaching Program is registered with the Australian Sports Commission as part of the National Coach Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) and is facilitated over a 12-month period including pre-residential tasks, a one-week residential course and post residential tasks including a coaching diary, regular mentor sessions culminating with an exit job interview.

4. Coach Mentor Program

In support of coaches who are working in the High Performance pathway in their states, CA are providing coaching mentors that work with coaches based on their coaching profile and their development plan. Cricket Australia provides this support at ALL National Championships (male & female) and for the Australian Country Cricket Championships, the National Indigenous Cricket Championships, National Indoor Cricket championships and for the National All abilities teams.

While not everyone can fulfil the dream of representing Australia, it’s good to know there is a clear route from the backyard to the baggy green. So even if you’ve never held a bat, are desperate to get back into it or have a passing interest, there’s never been a better time to start playing Australia’s Favourite Sport.

Matthew Betsey – National Coaching Manager, Cricket Australia (@MattBetsey)

Matthew is currently engaged by Cricket Australia in the capacity of National Coaching Manager. Matthew leads the National Coach Development team to ensure Cricket can attract, retain and develop coaches who help instil The Australian Way to unite and inspire the nation – from Backyard to the BaggyGreen!

During his time with Cricket Australia, Matthew has completed secondments to the Champions League Twenty20 tournament as an Operations Manager in 2010 (South Africa) and 2011 (India). He also managed the inaugural National Indigenous team tour to India in 2012 and has delivered programs on the sub-continent, UAE, the West Indies and America’s region and across Asia. In 2015, he completed the prestigious Business of Entertainment Media and Sport program at Harvard Business School.

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