An Interview with Junior Coordinator
Hi Chris, the junior section continues to thrive, what do you think the secret is?
I think the club has always had a strong junior section, right from when I was young with Ian Cordingley leading it, right up to Lee Thompson from whom I took over. We have always been blessed with parents and senior players who are keen to volunteer their time to coaching our
youngsters – without them it would not be possible to run a junior section.
I came in and wanted to change our identity and bring it line with the modern game, so we had a new logo created, changed our name to Darwen Towers and embraced social media. Next we looked at what we were doing with each age group so we now have a structure in place from the AllStars all the way through to the Under 19’s identifying exactly what we want coached at each age group, how we coach and what we want a #Tower to look like when they progress into Senior Cricket.
This year I wanted to look at how we do things as coaches, #Towers, parents and as a club in general. The creation of the AllStars programme was a massive step also, it’s a great programme and gives us a steady stream of 35 youngsters a year and parents who want their children involved with cricket and our cricket club.
There seems to be a really fun atmosphere at practice nights, would you say that enjoyment is as, if not more important, than teaching technique at an early age?
Absolutely enjoyment and trying to get our #Towers to love the game and love our club is at the heart of our coaching philosophy. If our sessions are fun, they will remember them and keep coming back for more.
Our coaching sessions have fun at the core and we created our strapline when I took over as #FunDevelopLearn – these are our coaching fundamentals. I encourage our coaches to use a Games Based approach and put our #Towers needs and wants at the heart of all our sessions.
How important do you think the introduction of the ECB's All Stars programme has been to the growth in the number of youngsters taking up cricket?
AllStars has been a wonderful programme for the game of cricket and for us as a club. We actually started a Under 7 programme 2 years before AllStars was created as a national programme.
I think this was a major reason in our success at Under 9 level for the last two years. When the official AllStars programme came along it made the game more attractive to those who may not have took part historically. Its marketed very well, has great incentives for players and parents and is just what the sport needed to attract players and families down to Darwen CC.
Its good to see the ECB now extending this with the Dynamos programme
It must be pleasing to see so many youngsters making the transition from the junior set up into the senior teams. How important is it, as a club, that we continue to promote home grown players?
Its been great to see so many youngsters stepping up to Senior cricket, especially last year. This is as a result of great coaching by Neil Cordingley and Reece Davies, and also supportive Senior players in the senior teams who make it a welcoming and supporting environment for the youngsters to come in, feel supported and welcome.
This all helps make them feel part of it and want to be part of it in the future. One of the main jobs of our junior section is to provide a foundation for our youngsters to go into Senior Cricket and play at a level appropriate for them to both enjoy and be successful
With the current uncertainty around the cricket season, how can junior members keep a
Our junior members can keep active and develop their skills by following us on Twitter @DarwenCCTowers for ideas on simply cricket activities.
Its good also to see Lancashire and England put ideas on social media also. I think it’s a massive opportunity to play on the drive, in the garden and just play the game in its simplest purest form. Make the wheelie bin the wickets, play with the family, do what you can to work on the basics of the game but you cant beat just playing on the drive or garden with family – Matthew and I play a 24 ball challenge each day, either Test Match or t20 – where we have to either get each other out in 24 balls (Test) or get a total to beat (t20)
Keep Safe everyone, do little bits of cricket often and be good #Towers for your parents/families. We will soon be back together as #Towers.