Over the length of my career, personal coaches and mentors have played a pivotal role in helping me become the player that I am today. I love the team environment and playing with my mates, but I found personal coaching sessions outside of the team environment incredibly useful in improving my game. The individual attention gave me the confidence that I needed, and helped me push to play as well as I needed to, to make the Queensland team.
During the last 10 years of playing cricket I have had exposure to a lot of coaches and mentors. Each has a different approach and insight, and I have learnt something from all of them. When I was in the Queensland squad and needed to establish my potential within the team, I had the support of a club coach who spent time with me one-on-one. He was experienced at fostering talent, and had also been a professional player himself so he could understand my position – being on the cusp of a team and trying hard to break into it.
Having his support gave me the confidence to experiment and find my natural game. I knew he would back me, so it gave me the courage to try what I thought could work; it was what gave me the confidence to hit hard when I could have played it a lot safer. He also helped me with the mindset aspects of being a part of a squad but not in the playing team, and the ups and downs of team selection.
I have realised that you can take something from every coach. Some will help you mostly with the technical side of play, and some will provide the emotional training that is so important in your development as a player and as a person. This includes learning how to deal with missing out on the team, managing injuries, or the ups and downs that can occur with performance and results.
I’ve also had exposure to great mentors – people who invest in providing you with priceless, first-hand insight into the world. I have found that they teach you things outside of technical skills like coping with the highs and lows of playing, dealing with travel, and being away from friends and family and managing a career within sport. My mentors have been across different stages of their careers, different sports and also different industries. Their lessons also extend beyond sport – they are more life lessons.
Having all of this insight is the reason why I have been motivated to create PlayBook. I wanted people to have the opportunity to be able to connect and learn from the right people. It’s bringing together people who may have not previously found each other. The value and power of a coach/mentor is phenomenal. The opportunity for you to have someone focused and passionate about you alone and personalised training or lessons is an invaluable asset. Simply, when you are confident, you play well.
I’ve had a lot of help to become the player I am today and I want to say thanks to the coaches I’ve encountered across the years. They’ve all taught me a lot, for which I will always be grateful. With PlayBook, it is now my turn to step up and share my lessons and insights.
Header image via: @lynny_50 Instagram