In India, Cricket has achieved enormous popularity and the fever reaches its maxim with the onset of Indian Premier League (IPL) during summers. The game lovers leave no stone unturned to hone their skills and enroll themselves to be a part of it. What stands testimony to this fact is the number of youngsters who participated in the recent summer coaching camp organized by Cricket India Academy (CIA). Apart from grooming cricketing talent, CIA also uses this opportunity to sharpen the skill of the coaching staff. CIA coaches travel across the country to look for new talent at various cities like Jaipur, Pune, Chennai, Surat and Mumbai. The venue for this year’s coach professional development was Chennai & Surat. The 45 day CIA summer camp received good response with around 70 participants in Chennai and 55 in Surat. Every year, CIA gives its best performing coaches, exposure to coach talents at different locations and environment by hosting summer camp sessions at various cities which helps in boosting their career.
CIA focuses on coaching quality and so it invests on training of selected coaches under the guidance of Cricket Australia coach educators. For the last three years, CIA has conducted coach induction program, providing an opportunity for the coaches to enhance their knowledge, nurture their skills and add value to their coaching experience. The induction program promotes learning of innovative game strategies in the modern game’s perspective over and above the traditional coaching style. CIA believes in continual training, hence, it undertakes periodic coach training program, conducts seminars and ensures incremental improvement in the ability of every coach. Skilled CIA coaches are trained to improve qualities that would enhance penchant for the game, improve communication skills and improve strategic planning abilities. Communication plays a vital role in achieving better synergy within a team and places all the players in tune with the thoughts and strategy of the coach. CIA believes that a good coach is one, who has a focused vision and a pragmatic approach in planning. Young talents consider their coach as a role model and living up to that expectation is a challenge on its own.
Coach Ashish Kulye and Coach Ankit Kasera were selected to conduct the Chennai summer camp this year. Mumbai based coach Ashish Kulye has been accredited as a Cricket Education Program Silver coach and Ankit Kasera, from Jaipur is Bronze accredited coach by Cricket Australia. Kulye is associated with CIA from the past two years, coaching at various centers like Kohinoor International School, Vissanji Academy, Podar Sports Academy and Euro School, Airoli, while Kasera coaches at Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh School in Jaipur. The importance of trained and qualified coach was evident by the effective and professional conduct of the CIA program.
The Chennai summer camp was conducted at Swami Vivekananda College in association with Inside Edge Sportainment Pvt Ltd. The venue partner shared their rich experience during the summer camp as an event opener. They appreciated the impetus given to the program by employing tried and tested coaching structure with an internal accreditation. Vignesh Iyer, from Inside Edge Sportainment (P) Ltd says, “Playing the role of sports academy, we aim to set the benchmark in facilitating the best resources to a wide range of cricketers, from the elite level to the beginners. The overall goal with regards to CIA coaching program is to add some local flavor as well to the brand and help establishing the brand space with a strong foothold in both retail outlets and school programs at Chennai very soon.”
Coach Ashish says “The experience of coaching at the new venue with the potential squad of participants was pretty exciting and all the way a new learning experience for me. Focus on friendly & practical methodology of coaching techniques was overwhelmed by the participants over the traditional net practice as it kept them all engaged over the field activity”. He also highlighted a distinct characteristic of the Chennai participants who showed a keen interest in cultivating new skills apart from just enjoying the game. “Here the participants were eager about learning the fielding techniques as they believe that it would develop them as a versatile player rather than just sticking to the traditional bowling and batting” he added.
The camp started with a skills test, which was used to understand the skill of the participants and divide them into groups with balanced skill level. The batches were a mixture of players, who are fresh to the turf with raw skill and enthusiasm and also seasoned players, who are experienced and are already part of school and club teams. The focus of the camp was on structured coaching to concentrate equally on all participants and improve their proficiency. Chennai summer camp participants were also delighted to meet Cricket Education Program (CEP) role model, Mike Hussey at the training venue and every participant cherish the quality time spent with the legend at a grooming session on the field. Martin Gleeson CEO – Sports Education Development India Ltd and also Cricket Australia Level 3 Coach conducted exclusive training session on the importance of game planning & skill application in overall game scenario and they emphasized on fielding and spin bowling. Thus, the overall experience at Chennai summer camp added greater value not only to the skills of the participants but also to the coaching staff.
Rander Islam Gymkhana was associated as the venue partner for conducting the Surat summer camp. The Secretary Abu Murad says, “The CIA summer camp received an overwhelming response over the regular cricket camp that just focuses on net practices. CIA has different styles of coaching techniques but also maintains the fun element of the game at par.” The Gymkhana will associate with CIA for conducting the yearly summer camp as the management has high regards for the coach’s contribution and for creating friendly environment for children. .
Kalpendra Jha, a CIA coach hailing from Rajasthan conducted the Surat summer camp along with Coach Azher Shaikh from Jaipur. Kalpendra Jha accredited with the Silver medal from Cricket Australia is associated with CIA for the past one and half years. He had played for the probable’s Rajasthan Ranji trophy team and currently coaching at Step By Step High School, Jaipur. He says “Surat participants have less exposure to such highly skilled camp, which stresses more on activity-based training, application of skills in overall game scenarios and shaping up of personality development within a friendly environment. Playing regular matches and emerging match scenarios honed their adapting qualities through keen observation.” He observed that the participants were enthusiastic and positive about the value these summer camps add to their career development. He also feels that conducting such regular cricket camps will help children, who foster dreams of making big in the game and focus more on cricket.
Martin Gleeson, CEO, Sports Education Development India Ltd quotes, “At CIA we greatly value and appreciate the role of the coach. Apart from training future cricketers, we seek to provide a coaching development pathway for our coaches to enhance their career”.
The success of the camp was evident in the interest and spirit shown by participants throughout the camp. The participants were keen to grab, what was being offered to them and enjoyed every challenge that was thrown at them. The camp has widened the vision of the coaches and specialize them in long time strategic game planning, scheduling daily matches and formulating tactical game plan in match situations. The camp experience also inspired the coaches to plan their career and fuel their dream to become the head coach at CIA academies.