Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Five Rebuilding Tips

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Several teams have gone into rebuild mode. A lot of commentary has surfaced about what's wrong with the rebuild process. The big emphasis on team discipline starts at the onset of rebuilding. Administrators and selectors take center stage and begin setting new foundations for the future. Usually, veteran players get the axe and a lot of unpleasantness comes to the fore. Here are some tips to the rebuilders.

No. 5 - Identify a vision of the type of team that you want to form. Attacking, defending, attrition, expressive, dull, etc. This vision needs to be aligned to the culture of the nation (or in case of West Indies or even India) the region. The West Indies are free-spirited people, who love life. Why not let them express themselves instead of strait-jacketing them with too much discipline? Bring in a Rahul Dravid/Larry Gomes kind to balance out the stroke players. Focus on fielding to take advantage of their natural athleticism and fearlessness.

No. 4 - Identify a leader that fits the profile of the team or culture of the team. For example - Pakistan is used to being led by a "general" (Imran Khan). They probably respond better to a larger than life, charismatic leader, than an Anil Kumble or Daniel Vettori. India, on the other hand, are a nation of states. A coalition builder, patient listener and a emotional rock is an ideal leader for this band.

No. 3 - Focus on the future and not on the past. The coach and administration need to demonstrate that this is about the team and not about themselves. Harking back to glory days, or their own success as businessmen or administrators is a useless waste of time that only puts off players. Players need a mission and recognition. Ultimately, they are artists and entertainers, who seek popularity and glory. Trying to hog the limelight as selectors, administrators and coaches only focuses on the past. The future is what the team wants. Try to influence what the team should want. i.e. World Cup glory or number one status or win the next series.

No. 2 - Discard the use of the word "discipline". This is for school children and those that pursue academics. Entertainers (sportspeople included) respect dedication to their art. Maximizing their potential requires more dedication and a work ethic. Discipline smacks of strictness and respect of authority. It suggests lack of free expression and constraint. The game is about players and not about "authority". So players should learn to respect the game and not the authorities such as coaches, selectors and administrators. Dedication evokes hard work, practice, improvement and excellence.

No. 1 - Put players above all else and teach them teamwork. Weed out the bad, pamper the ones to keep. If there are thirty that you want to keep, pamper them all. India has got this right. Everyone of the 30 probables for the World Cup has had opportunities and are well looked after. If there is a missing element in sportspeople, it's teamwork. This doesn't come naturally to most people. This needs to be taught and needs to be nurtured. Teamwork is about celebrating other people's art. This is where a good coach comes in.

Are the West Indies and Sri Lankans reading?

See also...

  1. Sachin Tendulkar is a health hazard: Ministry of Health
  2. Portraits: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
  3. About Vidooshak

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