Coaching Lessons From The England Dressing Room


As All Cricketers Know – Timing Is Everything, but sometimes a Coach Will Put The Boot In…. Just Ask Joe!


From the point of view of a business coach and an armchair England cricket fan there was a fantastic little story in the news on Friday 29th regarding Joe Root.


Joe is widely considered to be one of the most naturally talented cricketers in the world and a future England Test Captain. However recently he has experienced several disappointments in his form and identified “simple” batting errors as the underlying cause..

 Two weeks ago at Lord’s Joe was struggling, both emotionally and technically after giving away his wicket cheaply in recent test matches. Joe also took the unexpected first test loss to Pakistan rather personally.


So this is the time when a good coach steps in with reassurance and some practical tips on how to improve the batting right?


No – it seems. Well not as far as Mark Ramprakash is concerned.


But first – a declared interest.


I had the privilege earlier this year of being able to talk to Mark Ramprakash at Lord’s no less about coaching and what he brings to the England team as their batting coach. There were some very interesting insights about how and when a coach may intervene. But I didn’t see this one coming..


So what was Mark’s response to Joe’s dip in form? He asked him a question. He asked “you mentally in the right place to play Test cricket at the moment?”


Joe took that as a statement rather than a question, and admitted it really hurt him. With so much a stake, the success of the wider team, the self-doubt that might be sown in Joe’s mind, one might argue that this was not the right “suggestion” (by the way it was a question) to make. Foolhardy maybe. But Ramprakash as a coach knew his coachee. They had built up a relations ship based on knowledge, trust, and understanding between the two. It was the right question to ask and at the right time, and may even be the most pivotal moment in this young batsman’s career. History will Judge.


Joe admits that the question initially really hurt, and then he dug deeper within himself to find trhe answer. Joe says, “I thought about it and really homed in on that during practice at Old Trafford. It got me in the right place. All Ramps had really said was it must be my mental approach that was letting me down because my game looked in good order and I looked comfortable out there. It's exactly what I needed to hear.”


Joe went out in the Second test and hit 254 Runs. This innings was described by many commentators as “coming close to batting perfection”.


If you understand that effective coaching is as much about the “who” as it is the “what” and “how” and want to know more about how coaching may help you in your business then talk to me!