Monday, 9 December 2013

Thoughts on the coaching structure changes

There are, in life, two types of people in relation to change. Goodness knows, in a thirty-year and counting career I have seen enough tweaks to systems, processes and personnel to write a book on it.

Some people - and understandably - feel threatened by it. When you're told, as I've been on a couple of occasions, that you have to re-apply for your own job, it's a long way from fun. The uncertainty is everywhere and for all of those involved it is a nerve-wracking time.

Then there's others who embrace it and see it as an opportunity to stake a claim, or make a statement; perhaps reinforce and underline the job they do and how well they do it.

There are a few comments flying around tonight, as there always are, but largely the contributors elsewhere miss the point. It is no more the role of Karl Krikken to 'sort' the coaching set up than it is a head of department in any organisation. Such a duty falls to the directorate and so it is in the cricket club structure.

Let's not jump to conclusions here. We may end up with the same personnel at the end of the process that we have now, but is it really 'chaos' as one correspondent elsewhere points out elsewhere? No, it is a long way from it. What we have are experienced professionals checking that the personnel and structure that is in place at OUR cricket club is the best that it can be. They are, in short, doing their job and carrying out their committee role as they are expected to do.

It would be easy to sit back, look at the current coaching staff and wear a contented smile. Derbyshire lads all, doing a job that we're fairly happy with. We battled well last year and there were a good few positives to come from the summer.

Yet we were relegated, let's not forget that. Why not take stock of the situation and see who else might be out there, someone who may have a genuine interest and track record in a strategic role at the club? It might be there's no one better qualified, more able or more suited than the current personnel. Then again, there could be someone who would be simply perfect to take us on to the next level.

This hasn't been a knee-jerk reaction. The club has done its homework; it has consulted with the current coaching and playing staff and has done its research on best practice elsewhere - not just in cricket, but in other sports.

It strikes me that there are parallels with recent events at Derby County. Like many other fans, I was disappointed to see Nigel Clough depart, a man who had done a good job, stabilised the club and put together a good bunch of players.

Was he getting the very best out of them? On the basis of recent weeks under Steve McClaren, no. At the end of this process, we may have the same or a very similar set up to that we have now, or it could be radically different. We may have some of the current personnel, or we may have none of them.

My heart goes out to all of those involved in the process, as it isn't fun. Yet for all those who purport to want only the best for Derbyshire cricket, tell me this isn't the right thing to do and I'll need to accuse you of a few porky-pies...

Because it is.


Anonymous said...

You certainly can't accuse the cricket committee of twiddling their thumbs. It isn't exactly clear exactly what roles are up for grabs or say how the Academy fits in with these specialisms but I can see the general thrust of it.
My gut feel is that most existing personnel will retain a role including KK and the end of season fightback showed we are moving in the right direction.I suspect that Kevin Dean and even KK may have been the main drivers for looking to an alternative structure to improve the coaching set up. The statement doesn't say if the structure is cost neutral or otherwise.
Sadly,despite some occasional good contributions, the FF has now been hijacked to present a hate campaign against CG and DG promoted by just two posters.It is boring in the extreme,backward thinking,non representative and lacking in substance.In their own words it has become a joke.

Marc said...

Does this mean there will be four coaches covering batting,bowling,wicket-keeping and fielding,plus a fitness coach?. If so it seems a bit strange to cite a lack of money as the reason not to renew Houghton,s contract,unless the club just used it as an excuse to get rid of him.Obviously the psychology and lifestyle elements will be looked after by non coaching personnel.

Am I missing something here,because as I read it,the ECPD (who at the moment is Krikken)will have overall responsibility for all coaches under him and would be instrumental in setting their tasks and coaching schedule.Not to mention the minor task of picking the team. In other words,he would still be "sorting the job out".

Do these roles have to be applied for anually,bi-anually or do the individuals have their own contracts?.

In theory,the idea is a sound one,but results on the pitch will ultimately determine whether it,s a success or not. I,m all for giving it a chance and I like the idea of all players being brought up the same way.

All we have to do now is wait and see who is assigned to the various roles. Despite all the mistakes he made last season,I would still give Krikken the benefit of the doubt and allow him the chance to make amends.

Peakfan said...

Anon - appreciate a name in future please but will allow on this occasion. For what its worth, I think the two posters you refer to have revealed their true identity with recent postings... axes to grind, methinks...

Marc - I dare say the small print is to be decided but we need to move forward. How many coaches and their remit will be a part of this process. I've a couple of ideas of people who may be interested...

JASON FAGE said...

Agree with you Peakfan...I see Notts have dispensed with the services of Paul Johnson today citing a restructure of their coaching staff.Cricket is starting to come to terms with itself.I live in a world of change in my business and if you do not embrace it and move forward you stagnate.Let Chris get on with doing what he thinks best for Derbyshire County Cricket Club and to those who criticise I doubt they would or could do a better job bearing in mind he does for the love of the club and nothing more.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. I confess I'm not entirely sure about this. My concerns (in no particular order):
1. How many people are we actually talking about employing? There are seven areas but I can't conceive there will be seven employees; that would make something of a mockery of letting David Houghton go.
2. If we're not talking about seven employees how will responsibilities be divided? In particular how will a batting/bowling/fielding coach be able to spend sufficient time with the first xi if he is also dealing with the second xi, academy and lifestyle etc issues. I stand to be corrected, but I'm unaware of any professional sports club where, for instance, the manager spends equal amounts of time with the first team and youth team. This doesn't mean it can't work, it just seems somewhat unusual.
3. Advertising the elite cricket performance director (incidentally why not simply director of cricket?!) openly does seem to indicate a lack of faith in KK. At the very least it suggests he's not the first choice. If he does get the job it is hard to see how he will not be viewed as a second choice and be under more, and more immediate pressure than otherwise.

I don't want to be negative but I think we all need far more detail about how it will all work in practice before it can be said to be good (or indeed bad) idea.

Having said all that I should say that I do welcome the focus on issues such as psychology and lifestyle, as this has obviously caused some problems recently.

Spireite Tim