Is technology re-defining businesses and the educational landscape for the future?
By: David Willey, June 6, 2020 | Willey's Pitch

6 months from now we will have survived 2020. A year that the vast majority of us will want to forget. 12 months from now, God-willing, we will be playing the game we love amongst friends, opponents and in packed stadiums. What changes between now and then may not be immediately noticed but the pandemic, Covid-19, has taught us some valuable lessons. Businesses have had to be agile and adapt fast to survive. At the forefront is the investment from businesses in remote working tools and processes. Remote working has been recognized globally as a permanent option with the environmental and mental benefits already being recognized.

Why should cricket practice be any different?

Remote working, learning or coaching allows for individuals to have far more control and flexibility over their schedule. Ultimately, it allows people to work, train or practice at the time of day and location that suits them. It can give them access to training providers or coaches from afar and allow users, or players in this instance, to digest and analyze information In ways most suited to them. This allows remote learners and players to continue with their personal life, work, or any other commitments. It means there is no time limits that your traditional 1 to 1 coaching session has. Think about it, the taking of footage, analysis done by the coach himself and then feeding back to the player and discussing work ons, all within an hour long 1 to 1. Your finished before you have started!

Of course, with the freedom to schedule and manage your development comes a high level of self-drive and discipline. A far less noticeable personal development but both paramount qualities in a successful cricketer. Remote learning places the responsibility on the student - the more they put in, the more they get out. This particularly excites me as through my development as a teenager I lived by the mantra - “If i don’t train today, somebody else will. So yes, talent can get you so far, but its limited without self-discipline, self-drive and passion. With the freedom and control individuals are given they become accountable for their own development, education. This boosts their drive to study, train or work harder. Again, in a professional sport which is very much individual, we have to be accountable for our own performance. What better way to learn and develop this through the way in which we practice.

Studies have found that those in online learning environments performed better than those who were given conventional, face-to-face instruction. Why should cricket be any different?

For businesses, the development of webinar platforms, online meetings and ability to screens share is financially a no-brainer but considerably more time efficient too. These platforms are an exceptional way for coaches to share their analysis with players, discuss the players game and development while offering immeasurable flexibility to both player and coach alike.

Today I'm a few days in to a new venture that I believe will be the start of a revolution in cricket coaching. By going digital it not only allows the 1:1 environment to stay highly focused and flexible with no time limitations for player or coach. But, the potential for consistency and building a real understanding of the players game and skills are endless.

The possibility to receive coaching, mentoring and insight from more than just your club coach or school teacher is now a reality, even from some of the wor'd’s best players. Through my online coaching program players can submit videos of their practices or matches and have their game analyzed in depth. No distractions, no time constraints, just pure dedication to maximizing a players potential. The idea of coaching players in an online digital environment i'n't one that has always come to mind when people think about the word coach. My aim is to not only utilize technology to its advantage, but build the foundation for what I believe a bright future of developing world-class cricketers can be. No time constraints on sessions and flexible hours for everybody Involved. Throughout history many new ideas and leaders were formed out of pressure rather than natural progression. Although the Covid-19 Pandemic has been one of the hardest times many of us will have to endure in our lifetime, it has formed many great ideas. The next generation of players will have used some of the methods which are being created in tod'y's world.

As online coaching becomes more prevalent; I look forward to constantly refining my own methods of analysis, communication and coaching as well. I envision a future where the systems of recording footage in detail become far more advanced and widely available. You only have to look at how technology has grown in the game in recent years with the likes of hot spot, snicks, DRS and the detailed player analysis they do during games- It's not unthinkable.

We live in turbulent times. If tough times have taught great sportsman anything in the past, it is that: talent is cheap, passion is priceless. With passion comes a great determination to improve at all costs, or even just bounce back from another injury! Learning from your next coach over the internet is not just a good investment, it is potentially the firsts taste of what will become a new-normal for coaching in the future. I look forward to working with every player that partakes in my newest venture. I am passionate about being the best player I can be, but also the most dedicated coach for players who select my coaching packages.

David Willey | June 6, 2020