During the weekend of 31 of January and 1 February 2015 the bi-annual National Conference of the ECB Coaches Association was held at Warwick University with around 400 participating coaches. The Austrian cricket coaching community was represented by Marcel Biersteker, ECB Level 2 coach.
The key-note speakers and workshops on offer were as always at a high level and there were several opportunities in-between and during the ECB Coach Awards gala dinner to network and catch-up with fellow coaches as well as getting up-to-date with the latest coaching tools & equipment.
From a technical perspective, the conference participants could choose from several presentations and workshops by top coaches, like e.g. bowling bio-mechanics, keeping players on the park via strength and conditioning programs, power hitting, the science of diving, wicketkeeping coaching and throwing like a baseball player.
Furthermore, four key-note speakers covered non-technical aspects, like leadership, creative thinking, building relationships and trust, development programs, personal and collective commitment to sustain performance excellence, foundations of success and governance & planning topics.
One of the many highlights of the conference was the key-note speech of Ashley Giles, former England's limited overs head coach and currently cricket director and head coach of Lancashire CCC. His governance model using the velocipede bicycle as an analogy was particularly powerful in highlighting that in order to achieve sustainable progress one needs to combine a long term vision (the big wheel) with short term goals and achievements (the small wheel). In other words, in order to keep your team, club or nation moving forward, you need to keep both wheels of the velocipede bicycle moving.
Several speakers pointed out that cricket is a fast changing game, so in order to keep up, you need to learn faster than the opposition. High quality coaching from grass roots up to performance level forms an integral part of this development; (aspiring) Austrian cricket coaches are well advised to attend one of the ECB coaching courses and subsequently join the ECB Coaches Association to obtain their benefits like coaching insurance and the highly acclaimed “Wings to Fly” DVD series with the latest thinking from top coaches and players around the world.