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We Expect Too Much from Coaches in a Short Time: Gary Kirsten

Former South Africa international Gary Kirsten believes that there is too much pressure placed on the coach in cricket, saying that the nuances of coaching often take time to implement.

Kirsten, who coached India in their successful 2011 World Cup campaign and has also had a stint with his homeland’s team, added that a coach needs to both handle individuals but also ensure the team remains successful.

“Coaches need to be able to successfully manage all different types of personalities so that each player has an opportunity to thrive. The coach is also trying to set a high performing team environment and has a responsibility for the success of the team and not only individuals,” Kirsten told the Daily Sun.

“Every new coach needs support from players who can drive the new culture or way of doing things. This can take time and to win these players over, requires trust, transparency and good connections. We expect too much from coaches in a short time,” he added.

Kirsten also spoke about the skills that he believes a coach must possess to be able to thrive in the role.

“Coaches require a variety of skillsets which allow them to have oversight in every segment of running a professional cricket team.

“This includes season and tournament preparation, man-management, building a team culture, managing relationships, recruitment, contracting, strategy, recruitment and management of support staff, practice and training facilities, media commitments, team logistics, team feedback loops and debriefs, consultants and all other services linked to a high performance professional sports team.”

The 52-year-old also spoke about the differences in coaching a national side and a franchise side, with both posing their own unique challenges.

“A national team requires extensive travel because of all the touring which makes it difficult for families. A franchise team coaching job is tough in terms of building a culture and a ‘way of doing things’ in an eight-week tournament, with high expectation on short term results.”

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