As a professional sports person, it is often easy to not engage in thinking about what you are going to do when you retire. For most of us, it is not a nice thought! For cricketers, we are very lucky in having the support of the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) who ensure players are as best prepared as they can be for retirement, among many other areas of support. This includes supporting players through educational courses such a university degree, or taking on a part time apprentorship in a chosen trade.
For myself, I topped up my foundation degree in Sports, Fitness and Coaching through the open university, and completed my coaching levels 1 and 2 in cricket, as well as qualifying as a personal trainer. These qualifications enabled me to coach throughout my playing career in schools, clubs and counties through the charity Chance to Shine. It is here I built up my coaching experience and skills, which, so far, has helped in my transition from playing to coaching.
Often, the coaching I delivered was very much one off sessions, with emphasis on high impact, and inspiring every pupil we coach. I enjoyed these sessions, it wasn’t always the content of the session that made them fun, it was the way you delivered them and how you interacted with the children.
Now, with cricketforgirls.com we still work in schools and this is very much at the heart of the sessions, ensuring the players have a positive experience. On top of this, I have set up academies for club and county players which provides a longer program of 6-8 weeks training to help them develop and improve. So far these have been extremely rewarding.
As I have started to make the transition into performance coaching I have been developing my own coaching ethos. This has been built around experiences I had from coaches I worked with during my playing career. Thinking about what made them so good has help me in this process. One coach in particular has played a huge part in this, the emphasis was always on keeping things simple and allowing for self-development and understanding from the players. I believe players learn much quicker and in more depth when they work things out for themselves. Of course there is always a need for guidance and I am learning how to get the right balance for this, especially with the ranges of ages and abilities we have.
I’m very much looking forward to this continued journey and will keep you updated with all the challenges that I’m sure will lie ahead!!
Now the coach and Director of her own coaching company ‘Cricket for Girls’, Lydia works hard at promoting the game of cricket and encouraging more women to become coaches of the game.