Some 25 Jeppe sport coaches spent a fascinating afternoon with Paddy Upton, former assistant coach to Gary Kirsten with the South Africa and Indian cricket teams, and currently head coach to three professional T20 teams – the Sydney Thunder in the Australian Big Bash League, Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League and the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.
Upton’s talk was about best practice in managing sports performance and it was all about the change from the old command and control style of leading people to a new, participative style of coaching that allows the players a say in all aspects of their preparation.
Upton showed how game review, planning for the next match and the implementation of practice sessions to put that plan into action, can all be co-created and executed by the coaching staff and the players together.
The approach is future-orientated, looking for solutions rather than apportioning blame and identifying opportunities rather than pointing out errors.
Throughout, Upton stressed that process is more important than outcome and that the aim is to help players to become better people, through the medium of sport.
The coaches indicated that this approach can certainly make a difference to their effectiveness as coaches, and teachers.