Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Cricket Series - Fine Advise for Cricketers from Sanjay Bharadwaj

Sanjay Bharadwaj, the coach of Gautam Gambhir and Unmukt Chand - two steely performers who have performed under extremely extenuating circumstances for India - Gautam in the World Cup 2011 and Unmukt in the recently concluded Under 19 World Cup, gave a special quote on Teacher's Day in the Deccan Chronicle today. What he said is what every cricketer or professional must reflect upon and imbibe.

I quote:

"I've coached more talented kids than Gautam Gambhir and Unmukt Chand, but the reason these two have made it big is because they are true disciples. They call me every other day and keep asking about what they are doing wrong or how they can improve their game. They are now international cricketers but they still have not forgotten me. That is why they are successful - they respect their coach."

Three things stand out for me in this quote. The first is that talent alone gets you nowhere. It must be supported by growth-oriented hard work that keeps the player always ready for the next level challenges (or any professional for that matter). Also to keep growing and learning all the time even when it appears that  there is nothing else to learn. (That's when one needs to be most careful).

The second is the importance of a coach and mentor. I have already expressed me surprise at meeting cricketers at first class level who have said that they do not have a coach. The fact that these two boys have been grounded on the basics and have recognised the importance of their coach shows their maturity and their growth mindset. Also what Sanjay Bharadwaj says so emphatically "that he has coached more talented boys than them..." proves only one thing - the importance of a coach for every sportsman and professional. A coach that they can trust and constantly seek to improve upon their skill and not let errors creep in. No one is too big for that. Ever.

The third thing is that they have not forgotten their coach despite reaching international status and the glare of public eye. In contrast I see how in Hyderabad many of our older coaches who had a wonderful knowledge of the game and who have a vast repertoire of knowledge have been ignored by the same people who have risen high on the strength of their coaching. So many of them have flown high and forgotten their coaches - many of whom are still coaching passionately despite their advanced years.

For those aspiring to grow, to express themselves better through the game, this is some of the finest advise one can get. Get a coach and keep in regular touch with him about your game.

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