Gary Grewal's Blog (#2): Being Coachable
PSA: This blog isn’t based on my knowledge as a coach but my experience as a player with limited ability which was further hampered by my lack of being coachable at a younger age.
Experience has taught me that being coachable is also a skill. It is easy to recognize talent but its hard work recognizing which individual will use every last ounce of talent they have. Will a good coach squeeze out every last bit of potential in a player? yes, but only if the player allows it.
Some players simply refuse to change and move out of their comfort zone, they are afraid to take that one step backwards in order to break the threshold that’s holding them back.
For Example, I see young players who have all the talent around me. Some have the ‘O’ grip issue which is an easy fix but no matter how much you tell them to fix it they won’t, just because that grip allows them to pull length balls. Great shot to have but you are restricting your scoring zones and lowering your ceiling. There might be a number of reasons they don’t want to change it. In order to change this, you need to get out of the bowlers net and do drills, if you skip the drills and try to fix it in the nets, its going to be awkward and you might get exposed which will lead to you reverting to your flawed grip, or you simple deny that you have an issue and you just continue to bat the way you do. Because clearly you are hitting the ball better now than with this change.
The flip side of this is guys who will blindly make changes to their game, guys who follow a youtube masterclass or watch their favourite player on TV and mimic them. This was the case with me, I watched players and tried to be like them. It makes sense if you look at it from the outside, if I change my action to a certain bowler I will bowl like him. The issue is what might feel similar to you is actually nowhere close. Humans and Chimpanzees share 99% of the DNA I don’t think any chimps bowl 80 mph. Our body types differ immensely; you can’t be Shaun Tait but if you were to be 100% of yourself, Shaun Tait can’t be you either.
In both these scenarios, the strengths of a coach, which are knowing how to make technical changes, have been ignored. In scenario 1 the player decides to not make the changes required by doing the drills a coach can recommend and in scenario 2 the player decides to skip everything in between and go straight ahead and make advanced biomechanical changes without doing the strength and technical ground work required.
Now, so far it seems like if you do everything a coach says you will play pro cricket, I don’t think that’s true either. Because as you grow older and your body takes shape, some of your strengths and weaknesses become obvious but others stay hidden. I was never the strongest individual, I toiled away as a batsman who bowled decent off break, until at the age of 25 I realized I can swing the ball both ways and I have the height, and one day I messaged my coach (Derek Perera) and said I want to bowl fast. I was told I am not strong enough, I have poor running technique and my action isn’t anywhere close. But once I decided to go ahead with it, I was backed and given all the tools required to make the switch, and I have achieved more as a fast bowled in the last 5 years then I ever did before, in fact some of my newer team mates
might now ever know I have only been bowling fast for 5 years. A coach will provide you all the knowledge and resources at his disposal but it is up to you to use it.
Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do. – Bruce Lee.