Coaching skills making me better team player
Posted in ECB Coaches Association
Doing the Level 3 course changed my view on cricket itself. Having played more years as a pro than I care to remember I would hope I have decent technical knowledge, and am confident about bowling plans and a batters tactical game.
I think most first class cricketers would be the same. Where I did really benefit was dealing with people, and being aware of how I should best react to certain situations.
I am certainly more analytical in game situations now, and in my new role captaining Middlesex 2nds in some of the three-day games that has been pretty crucial.
I am now more emotionally detached. Once I have practiced my own skills I spend more time helping other players with their games.
ECBCA spoke to Chris Silverwood during his time as a candidate coach on the ECB UKCC Level 3 Coaching Course - watch his video above
I have a much better understanding of how best to deal with big characters in the dressing room and what is needed to get the best out of them. Being a quick bowler I tended to be fairly aggressive, but now I try and calculate whether to nurse their ego or give them a kick up the backside.
So far this season has been a little bit frustrating after a long lay off with a knee injury. I am busy trying to get lots of overs under my belt so I can play four-day Championship cricket again.
At the moment it has been a role reversal to what I have been used to: playing in one dayers and being rested for the Championship games. Obviously my aim is to be a regular part of both for Middlesex.
I damaged my knee during the second game of last season, and had surgery to put that right. It is a big thing to be coming back and performing and I have been pleased with my fitness and how that has gone.
One technical change I have made is shortening my run. I am not getting any younger and I need to preserve my energy to bowl long spells, plus I want to protect my knee from pounding in unnecessarily.
Having strengthened my core during the winter I am now getting decent pace. I am still swinging the ball, which is key to my bowling, and my control is if anything a bit sharper than it was when I came in off my old long run.
At the moment this key technical change seems to have worked because I am bowling good areas and physically it is benefiting. I am even hoping it will put a couple of extra seasons on the end of my career, which would be great.
The big tactical area for me has been my involvement of one day cricket. Having been out this form of the game for a while I have really enjoyed the pressure, but it is making me think, and has been a pretty steep learning curve.
While I have been out the game has moved on so much. The key is being able to think on your feet in critical moments of the game. Being able to adapt to different scenarios is a real skill.
This is something I need to consider when it comes to coaching other bowlers and batters. If they are too reliant on a coach they will not have the confidence or presence of mind to think for themselves at big moments in one day games.
During the off season I became a father, so my lifestyle has undertaken a pretty big change since January. Being a pro cricketer means lots of nights away from home but Victoria is coping really well with that.
My son helps me keep cricket in perspective, and being a father has definitely reminded me there is more to life than bowling.
When I first went away for a few days the little man would look at me as if to say “who is this bloke walking back in the door”, but now he recognises me even when I have been away for a week, which is much better for me. He almost seems used to me coming and going now.
Anyone who knows me will realise how I love my racing. Being involved in another sport is fascinating. I’ve got ‘Born to Boogie’, who won a listed race at Kempton a couple of weeks ago. She followed that up with a third in another race, so she’s in fine form.
Racing and fatherhood ensures it is not all just about cricket, even though we’re in the thick of the season now!