Interview with Brody Grogan: An Australian Coach with the Cricket India Academy

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Brody Grogan is a Cricket Australia certified cricket coach of the Cricket India Academy. He shares his vast experience to train coaches in India. Crickethighlights.com interviewed him at the coach induction program in Mumbai. Here is his interview:

Here is the text transcription of his interview:

Q: We cover domestic cricket and what is it doing to produce good international players. You guys have covered a large portion of Maharashtra but there are places where domestic cricket is not very good. So, how is the cricket education program you are having out here benefit players and schools that are short on resources and cannot afford the basic necessary equipment for playing cricket?

A: The best thing about this program is that there is a lot of opportunity to share knowledge through the coaches. The more knowledge they share, more of it will filter out into all different parts of the community. So, from Cricket Australia’s perspective this is something we proud ourselves on doing. We are sharing information and that’s why we are so glad to be here. You can look at it like a tree, you have this information which starts and then branches out into these coaches and these coaches will go on to talk to other players and people and it just slowly spreads. So, the knowledge we are passing on and sharing would educate your players and parents of players and also other coaches.

Q: I heard Martin speak about this coaching like an entire syllabus similar to a syllabus we have for subjects like history and geography etc. So can you throw some light on the syllabus of this cricket coaching education?

A: As a cricket coach there are so many things you need to look at developing and sometimes it’s hard to know where to
start. So I would assure this approach to the cricket education program. What it offers is structure, it gives you a place to start and different milestones along the way to kick-off in a minute. So, for a player rather than having just disjointed bits of information these coaches will provide our information that is sequenced (just step by step by step). So, that’s one of the major benefits. So that it’s not just misfiring here and there and it’s a clear concise way of coaching cricket.

Q: According to a brochure, students in the camp will be getting a six month diploma in cricket. There are a number of young domestic cricketers that are very good but they have a fear in their mind about what will happen if they are not selected or play at the highest arena. What will be their future like if they put in their efforts in playing cricket? This might affect their studies. They might pass their exams but not be very good in academics. In today’s cut throat environment it is very important to have a good education background to get a good job. So do you support cricket or sports as a subject in the education system of India?

A: I look at it this way, when you coach one of the most rewarding things is developing cricket skills, and developing personal skills as well. So, the ideal situation is that every young fellow who plays cricket will reach their goal but sometimes it doesn’t happen. So from cricket’s perspective and a coaching outlook if we can develop well rounded people through our good people then our job as mentor and coach is done.

Q: So you focus on preparing a good cricketer along with a good person who can compete in other departments as well.

A: If you equip the coaches with knowledge, a lot of this is technical knowledge and you got to coach the knowledge but it also about how to mentor your player.

Q: Do you back the policy by some schools of requiring students to get good grades to play in the school team.

A: I don’t know what to say. Every student is not going to be a nice student but as long as they dedicate themselves to study and give their best, that’s what you can ask. For example, if there is a player that tries hard at studies and works hard towards cricket and still gets middle of the chart grades but he has given it everything then you can’t ask for more than that. The problem lies if a player is lazy and doesn’t dedicate himself that’s not ideal because then that work ethic transfers into your cricket. Study hard and your cricket helps, its good habits.

Q:India is not producing good fast bowlers. From Kapil Dev to Zaheer Khan, we have seen very few fast bowlers. How are you focusing on producing good fast bowler in India specially when there are not many fast pitches in India? We have played on very placid pitches?

A: The course and the program covers all skills. It gives the coaches a better understanding of how skills of fast bowling and other disciplines are performed. Why something happens with the fast bowling action. The coaches here now have a sound understanding of what it takes to be a fast bowler. Technically, what a fast bowler is looking to do and also looking to strengthen those skills, whether it’s swinging the ball or different variations. So, the knowledge gained by the coaches will help them develop players. As I said earlier, from coaches the knowledge will be transferred further. I am sure the coaching and information provided will go a long way in developing young cricketers who turn out to be good cricketers.

Q: We have seen some fast bowlers start out good but then suffer from fitness problems. For example Munaf Patel used to bowl 150 plus but later on suffered from fitness problems. Does the cricket education provided by Cricket India Academy address this?

A: Yes, one of the key aspect is that you need to be strong enough to perform your skills and not just strong enough to perform for one day but day after day after day, week after week and month after month. If you look at your best cricketers, the pace bowlers and the wicket keeper fellows are playing a lot of cricket. We focus on developing and producing not only a physical fit athlete but an athlete who knows how to prepare and recover from a hard day’s cricket. Coaches are always discussing and addressing this as it is very important.

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