Giles reveals coaching blueprint
For a man who enjoyed many high times as a player, Ashley Giles remains just as hungry for success in his new role as a county coach.
After 54 Tests for England and a 14-year county career at Edgbaston bowling his left-arm spin, he became director of cricket at Warwickshire at the end of the 2007 season.
Giles enjoyed promotion to the top flight in the LV= County Championship last summer and, now in his third year in charge, is keen to return the club to the glory days of the mid-1990s, when one-day success was commonplace.
Here the man famously dubbed the ‘King of Spain’ tells ecb.co.uk what his role involves in 2010:
Late pre-season - technical, tactical and mental
“It’s about getting the guys mentally in the right place. A lot of the technical stuff has been done by March. We move into a tactical and a mental phase - keeping the guys happy and making sure they are happy with their games is important.
“We start to look at the oppositions, and planning our goals. That’s individual goals as well as team aims for the season and how we go about meeting those.
“The individual things like partnerships and your first-innings scores, and taking 10 wickets - how we do all those things over the season?”
The season - mental and tactical
“As we move through the year it gets busy with matches. I guess something I’ve learnt over the last couple of years is that I’m pretty much a manager.
“My title is director of cricket but a lot of my job is about managing people, so it’s making sure we’re all on the same bus and all going in the same direction.
“For the guys who are struggling with their games it’s about finding a way of getting them back on track. For the guys who are happy and playing well it’s about keeping them on an even keel and in that zone that is success.
“At the same time I have to be the bad man at times and come in and give guys a smack and tell them to behave. It’s a very interesting role during the summer.”
Post-season - rest and recovery
“We move into a rest phase towards the end of the summer, through October and November, and we’ve incorporated this six weeks off over the last couple of years.
“This year we’re going to do something slightly different. We’ll let the players take four weeks off and then get them back in to do some fitness tests at the end of October.
“If guys pass their fitness tests they will get an extra two weeks, so a bit of reward in terms of extra holiday.”
Early pre-season - physical conditioning
“We come back in November, and pre-Christmas there will be a massive physical focus, getting the guys into tip-top physical shape.
“We’ll add a bit of fun to that by playing the odd game of indoor football as well as the hard work in the gym. Then we should be ready to go again at the start of 2011.”