Viv was a natural striker of the cricket ball, who had the ability to take down any bowling attack, on any given day. He was one of those players that had an enormous presence at the crease. Viv had this energy, a swagger in his step, a belief in his ability and he took pride in what he was doing out on the field. This quiet confidence was misunderstood by many. Some even claimed Viv was plain arrogant, which I believe is wrong. Arrogance or elitism is the feeling of superiority that fosters the assumption that past success will be repeated WITHOUT the same HARD EFFORT that brought it about in the first place. Viv certainly was not this man. Viv once said he never went into any game assuming that they would win. He showed respect to all of his opponents but he feared no one. However the confidence and poise of the man was not something he was born with. It was developed over time through his physical preparation as well as his upbringing and the people in his life.
I think there are many things that we can take from Viv’s simple, positive approach to the game and life in general. Viv always talks about being relaxed mentally and physically and this is what helped him to perform well, while at the same time helped him enjoy the game. This calmness helped Viv fully express himself on the field which provided for great entertainment to the people that came to watch the game.
I think as coaches we need to understand that our job is not simply to develop the skills of a player or athlete. It’s way more than that, especially if we are working with young kids who we can shape more easily. It is extremely important that we are not imposing on people. We need to take a holistic approach to what we are doing as coaches or athletes for that matter. Sure we need to pass on our knowledge in terms of how to execute certain skills but we as coaches need to help develop respect, camaraderie, confidence, self control and intent of everyone we work with. We need to first look at ourselves as coaches and try and improve our own behaviors so that we are teaching more through our own behaviors and actions rather than telling players how it should be done. We need to encourage self expression with a way of executing skills that feels most natural to each player. This way they will feel free and enjoy their time training and playing!