Cricket coaches must be qualified

That is the first ‘law’ passed by the KZN Coaches Association, of which ACC School of Cricket Excellence head, Steve Belluigi who is serving as its president. “Coaches have never had a voice on the KZN Cricket Union (KZNCU) and that has really bothered me,” he said. “Last week that changed, which is important as it is imperative coaches have a voice in the running of cricket in the province.”
Steve was a fast bowler who played for Transvaal A. He has been a member of the Gauteng and Titans cricket boards and has been an office bearer at the KZN union since he moved to Toti 10 years ago from Pretoria. He is on the managing committee of KZNCU, executive council of KZNCU, vice-chairman of the finance committee, chairman of the human resources committee and on the coaches association of KZN. He is the treasurer of Durban and Districts Cricket Union, on the managing committee and executive council, finance committee chairman, vice-chairman of coaches and development committee and on the disciplinary committee.
“Cricket is more than just a sport, it teaches life skills,” he said. “It teaches youngsters patience, fair play, strategy and how an individual’s talents have to fit into a team. The balance of a team is more important than individual skills and each player has to know his role and how it may change as a game progresses. Cricket is unique in that both individual technique and team technique can shape a game. Anyone in any shape or size can play cricket, unlike in other sports.
It is important more teachers get involved in the sport, but these teachers need to be qualified coaches or else young players will get hurt. Fast bowlers are particularly exposed to back injuries and coaches need to, at least, know the basics of bio-mechanics. The science involved in playing the game has grown immensely during the past few years and coaches need to keep abreast of the latest findings.
The KZN Coaches Association holds regular forums every six weeks, in which various experts are brought in to address aspects of the game such as nutrition, warm-ups, correcting misalignments and injury prevention. Anyone obtaining the required qualifications at KZNCU will be required to register with the association.”
Coaches will in future have to obtain a qualification, much like the Bok Smart rugby qualification, before they can coach any level of cricket. “The cricket Boksmart qualification is a reality and it will happen. The coaches association has already had success in one of its mandates. Any club that affiliates to the KZNCU has to have, at least, a level two coach. To alleviate the cost thereof KZNCU has agreed to pay each club R5,000 upfront this year to employ such a coach. We will push for premier league clubs to have a level three coach in the near future.”
Various other aspects that the association is presently addressing are:
• The concentration of youngsters in a few cricket schools (particularly high schools), many of whom get lost in the system and are not developed;

• The disparity between the level of school cricket and club cricket in certain areas, such as Chatsworth;
• The difference between school and club cricket seasons, whereby youngsters play with different size balls and different pitch lengths during the week (at schools) than on Sundays (at clubs);
• The loss of the top development players from township schools to cricket schools;
• The loss of township players after their scholastic careers are completed;
• Methods whereby coaching at mini-cricket can best prepare youngsters for the‘hard ball’ while maintaining the fun aspect of this entry level;
• Whether the U15 level is sufficient preparation for senior cricket or whether an U17 level should be introduced in club leagues.

For more information, call Steve on 083-291-1045 or email [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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