Friday the 23 February saw coaches from around the region descend on the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn, to attend the inaugural SWD Coaches Conference.
Adrian Birrell, the ex-Proteas Assistant Coach spent the good part of two and a half hours running the coaches through his “practical coaching lessons”, learnt through his experiences with the Proteas. What was key was that all the lessons, tips and ideas he shared were on key basic principles and relevant to all the coaches present, from primary schools through to premier league.
Jean Du Plessis, who recently returned from the U19 World Cup. Jean, a member of the SWD Academy and SWD side, spoke on his experience at the World Cup and gave his perspective on coaching, from a young players viewpoint. The lessons he shared were valuable to any coach working with an elite cricketer.
Baakier Abrahams, SWD Head Coach and CSA Talent Scout then presented on how school coaches ‘fit’ into the CSA Talent Acceleration Program (TAP) and SWD Pipeline. A discussion took place with all the coaches on their roles in this pipeline, which ensured coaches left the conference, understanding their roles in developing and nurturing talented players, as well as the entire process that they would go through individually.
Henrico Louw from ETA then followed tea with a brilliant practical discussion and workshop, “Developing Fundamental Skills” with specific focus on conditioning. The talk was especially relevant to all school coaches because he dealt with the actual ‘athlete’ that coaches are dealing with today, compared with 20 years ago and the challenges associated with developing skills with these players.
The conference was very well supported by the SWD Framework, RPC and Hub coaches and with the timing not being ideal for all school teachers to be present, the next Coaches Conference is planned for a Saturday, late in August 2018.