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Brad Zeller, Australian Women's Coach

Indoor Cricket World's exclusive interview with Brad Zeller, the Australian Women's Indoor Cricket Team's coach, continues.

PART 3.

Indoor Cricket World: What is the single most important skill a good coach needs?

Brad Zeller: I believe having the ability to communicate is extremely important. I know of quite a few coaches that have the teaching of skills down pat, but when it comes to explaining them it sometimes falls apart.

ICW: So what advice would you offer to anyone contemplating becoming involved in coaching Indoor Cricket?

BZ: The advice I would offer is don't go into it unless you are prepared. You can't bluff the players forever, and if you try you will come out looking the fool and lose all of their respect. Once that is gone you have no chance. And learn as much as you can (ICW: see next question). Also do not apply for the Women's position, (only kidding).

ICW: When we announced you would not be travelling to South Africa for last year's World Cup, Alan Hughes, the England Women's coach, stated: "Brad was a superb coach but at the end of the day they (the Australian Women) could be led by Snoopy and still have a chance. Where it might tell is if things don't go according to plan in South Africa as the new Coach won't have Brad's experience." This was very high praise for both yourself and the Women's team, but it leads onto the question:

How important is the coach to a top-class indoor cricket team like the Australian Women?

BZ: The best sides always get asked this question--in fact, some high profile players in other sports have even questioned it.
A coach has so many different roles. With our sport, we don't have the luxury of unlimited dollars to buy specialist coaches etc,. so I learn as much as I can about diet, specific skills, psychology and the like. I see my role being a little different for each player I encounter. Keeping players focused is a main concern, and as was proved at last year's World Cup, anyone can be beaten on any given day. The mens team has lost a couple recently too, and has had a lot of very close games in the last couple of years (ICW: The Australian men won the right to play in the World Cup Final by just one run over South Africa, for example). The gap is closing on the Australian men and women, so more than ever a coach is paramount to their continued success. All players, no matter how good they are, may go through lean times--whether mentally or with form (or most often both), and need somebody with the ability to help them. I doubt Snoopy has that ability.

ICW: Exactly what does the coach of the Australian Women's Indoor Cricket team do when he is coaching his team?

BZ: Without being too specific: I try to cover all areas of indoor cricket. For example: skills, fitness, and working on improving the mental approach of individuals and the team, to just name a few.

ICW: Okay, let's get down to brass tacks here . . . what exactly do you do during a game, as coach of one of the teams playing?

BZ: As far as during the game goes, I do not get involved.

ICW: Not involved at all?

BZ: No, not involved at all--if I have not prepared the team properly before the game then I won't have an impact once they take the court. I put full trust in the captain of the side and all tactics and situations that may arise are hopefully thought about and discussed with her beforehand. I am getting better at just watching games, but a couple of years ago when Queensland had a close game in the preliminary final against Victoria, I wasn't coping really well. There was a vacant court next to the game, so to release some pressure I decided to have a bowl. It's probably the fastest I have ever bowled (and that's still not quick mind you).

To be continued . . .

 

Brad Zeller Interview Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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