Following the completion of the CoachED Cricket Online coaching ELITE Accreditation, Grey High School’s Director of Cricket Mike Smith emerged as the class leader finishing the twelve week course with 943 points out of 1000.
The former Warriors player transitioned into the coaching sphere after he called time on his career and has settled back in the Eastern Cape after a stint with Maritzburg College. Smith counts himself lucky that his coaching started before his career ended.
“In my last two years as a player with Eastern Province I filled a mentorship role for the younger guys coming through the system,” Smith said during a recent Webinar with CoachED.
“There were a lot of young players in the system and I did quite a bit of coaching them while I was finishing up my career.”
“These young players like Jon-Jon Smuts, Colin Ackerman and David White wanted to learn so I found myself doing quite a bit of coaching.”
After he finished his playing career he completed his CSA Level 3 qualification and has been the Director of Cricket at Grey High for four years.
His approach to coaching has changed since he took part in the CoachED course and the insights he has gained have given him a good overview on how he can improve as a coach but has also reaffirmed certain approaches he has taken.
“This might sound wrong but we are not bothered about what happens on a Saturday because we have players in our sides that we want to grow into the next first class cricketers.”
“Can we coach our players to dominate national schools weeks, make the SA Under 19 side and be ready to make that step up to first class cricket?”
“Obviously there is a balance that needs to be struck because not all players in your schools side will be professional cricketers so it is a delicate balancing act.”
Giving players the opportunity to grow is crucial for school cricketers and it’s something that Smith emphasises.
“If as a coach you can see that things are going wrong, sometimes it’s the best opportunity for players to learn and grow.”
“Even when you are about to tear your hair out it’s important to see how things play out and how the players react,” he added.