Re. Devon Emerging Player ‘Mission Statement’ and Selection Qualification
Firstly I would like to introduce myself to those of you I have not yet met, or had contact with. I have been running the Emerging Player Programme since David Court joined Surrey and now fully employed at The Sir Christopher Ondaatje Devon Cricket Centre. I combine my Emerging Player Head Coach role with that of Director of Cricket for The University of Exeter.
One of my aims is to ensure strong links with Somerset County Cricket Club, particularly as they are our nearest first class county neighbour, but also other first class cricket environments.
The Emerging Player Programme is being run in every county in the country and whilst each county will run it differently, its’ primary purpose is to provide quality coaching within quality facilities to support the development of young cricketers (boys and girls).
The process will ideally work as follows:
1. Selection based on potential (u11-u13) and performance (u14 and above)
2. Players will receive a supportive training programme designed by Devons EP Head Coach and delivered by selected highly qualified and experienced coaches
3. Somerset CCC will be invited to attend sessions at Devon to increase their awareness of young cricketers in Devon
4. Players will be re-invited annually based on selection criteria in 1 above
5. Players will not necessarily be selected year upon year
6. Once players reach under 16 they will be invited to attend Somerset Academy trial / training sessions during the summer as part of their selection / identification process
7. Players will be invited to join a first class county academy
8. Players not selected will be invited to continue within a Devon run training programme – the long term aim being that Devon Cricket Board establishes its’ own academy to continue player development up until under 19 age groups
Many factors will be taken into account during the process above, genuine ability, technical skills, decision making, mental strength, physical fitness, team ethics and the ability to achieve results to name but a few. It is the aim that these desires feed into age group and district cricket as a whole, if it does not already.
The process to reach a professional level in sport is not often a smooth one, and many setbacks will happen along the way. Critical feedback is an essential aspect of the long term process and understanding an individuals’ inner resolve will contribute to developing mental strengths. At times (as coaches) difficult situations will be encountered however in developing the ‘right’ characters to achieve their ambition to play cricket at a professional level, this is an integral aspect of the pathway.
During my period of time as a professional cricketer, Second Eleven Coach and Academy Director at Somerset CCC I was introduced to many hopeful professional cricketers.
What I learned through those years is that players failed for several reasons, including:
- A lack of mental fortitude
- Selfishness at the expense of the team
- An inability to self analyse to seek improvements
- Blame others and make excuses for failure
The Emerging Player Programme has a responsibility to ensure that all players in Devon that reach a first class academy position are fully prepared and capable of dealing with the challenges ahead.
Therefore much of our decision making and development procedures will attend to some of the factors listed above – whether directly (session planning) or indirectly (situational).
What I can promise, is that as professional coaches we will always ensure a positive reinforcement follows critical feedback, whether immediately or in the short term.
With that in mind I am always keen to provide open communication lines and am happy for parents, players and coaches to contact me to address positive or negative areas as and when they arise. However, please note, I am not in the habit of responding to third party feedback.
In conclusion I am thoroughly looking forward to the next phase of this programme and especially working closely with some very talented young cricketers and coaches in Devon.
I am confident that we will provide an outstanding environment for young cricketers to develop their skills and continually project Devon as one of the leading youth establishments in the country – if not the best!
Emerging Players Head Coach – Devon