Personal development is important for success

Across The Board From the WICB
Stabroek News
August 15, 1999

Poised on the brink of the new millennium we recognise that our focus for the development of cricket must zero in on the youth, making their personal development a highly organised process utilising the region's best resources in all areas.

Our Director of Coaching, Reg Scarlett summed this up recently, "It is not just about scoring runs or taking wickets, it is about building character, instilling discipline and helping the players prepare for some of the challenges they might face in life. This is why we created the concept of a personal development seminar."

Participants in the seminar, which began on Monday August 9 in Barbados, included a 15-member squad bound for the Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka in January 2000, along with five reserves. The 20 were chosen following the completion of the highly successful 1999 Nortel Youth Cricket Tournament, where the host team, Barbados, emerged as champions of the three-day competition while Jamaica won the one-day tournament.

It is fitting that in keeping with the focus on youth for the development of cricket that this is the first year a twenty member squad is chosen for training instead of the usual fifteen.

The Barbados Personal Development Seminar was the kind of mix that the WICB will be encouraging the respective territorial boards to come up with for young players.

Appropriately it began and ended with inspirational and motivational messages - legendary West Indian fast bowler the Reverend Wes Hall and Sir Conrad Hunte provided dynamic starts and closures for the week respectively.

The session was the type encouraged by the WICB, because it was varied and included a session encouraging the group to evaluate their education along with one by UWI Cave Hill lecturer Maxine McClean on Conflict Resolution. It dealt also with the physical health concerns of the youngsters. Three health care professionals were at the disposal of the squad, providing an insight into Health, Fitness, Nutrition and Diet, podiatry and dental care.

We join the Barbados Cricket Association in expressing gratitude to all those who acted as facilitators for the seminar, those already named along with Dr. Malcolm Samuels, Rosamund Beckles, Mrs. June Fowler, Ms. Clovine Clarke and President of the BCA Tony Marshall.

The Board envisages that courses in the future will continue to marry these facets of development with the very necessary development of playing technique - the basics of fielding, batting, bowling, running between wickets and catching and throwing.

Another significant spin off from these courses is the invaluable relationships that are built. West Indies Youth Coach, Gus Logie would have used the session to reinforce the necessity of sharpening technique so that the ultimate performance levels are reached, but also important to him would have been the opportunity to bond with the players. Courses such as these provide atmosphere for the building of team spirit and camaraderie a team needs to perform at their optimum when they are thousands of miles away in strange environments.

So important is the development of this group of youngsters, that the WICB Director of Coaching, Reg Scarlett was also in attendance. He used this opportunity to observe this pool of youths from which might well emerge the next leadership of the West Indies team.

Developmental seminars will definitely become more frequent in the future as the WICB forges ahead with the development of cricket in the region.

Already it has been decided that the squad will benefit from two camps instead of one before they go off to represent the region at the Youth World Cup.

Reg Scarlett and indeed the remainder of the board are committed to maintaining greater contact with the region's best players. In a recent interview Scarlett explained "We have refined our approach, and will not in the future be content with having only one seminar then not see the squad again until they go to play. We recognise their abilities by choosing them each year from among over 100 young players, we have got to bite the bullet and take responsibility for their development."

The Board has made a budgetary commitment to go along this road, unfortunately we are at the moment unable to spread this budget as thickly and widely across the region as we would like. We are however determined, with the resources currently available to develop a Human Resource Development Programme that will embrace all West Indies cricketers from youth level to professional.

We are trying to encourage all the territories to run similar programmes so that more can benefit. The respective boards can only achieve this if the companies which support cricket continue their sponsorships and if the consciousness of more companies is awakened and their sense of corporate responsibility tapped for the benefit of cricket in the region.

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