Sanjay Dogra, a former Ranji Trophy player and one of the State teams’ selection committee member, has written an honest and candid letter to the parents filled with tremendous expectations, who want to see their kids don the tri-colour someday and be a part of the most talked about sports team in India. Dogra, running a cricket academy himself, has come across many parents, who have certain inhibitions and biases when it comes to their child’s progress in the game of cricket. Some of them are plagued with unwanted but inevitable thoughts like ‘My child deserves to be a part of the State team but has become a victim of evil politics’ or ‘My child is competing against overage players’, to name a few.
Here are the excerpts from the letter which are broken down into do’s and don’ts for the parents of budding cricketers.
Let the coach train your child; avoid becoming a coach. Avoid giving technical tips to your child unless you have taken the permission from your coach.
Don’t compare your child with any other child; let him compete with himself. Let him work on his strengths and improve on his weaknesses and overall attitude.
Don’t pressurize your child to perform and achieve overnight success as this may lead him to nowhere.
Avoid doing personal coaching to the child during the nets or post nets or matches as this is the job of a teacher. The teacher is best equipped to handle the child technically.
Understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses and do not push him beyond a certain limit. Remember you cannot fill a one litre bottle of water with two litres of water.
Don’t blame the Cricket Coaching Academies, or Coaches if your child doesn’t perform well. Analyze the complete situation and try to see the level of commitment from your child’s side, his discipline, his performance, his attitude and approach towards the game. Remember coaching is a thankless job.
Remember there is no shortcut to success, so don’t go for shortcuts; let your child go the long way so that he learns better to become successful.
Don’t envy others’ success if your child is not selected. Instead encourage your child in such a way that he works harder the next time and makes the final cut.
Don’t dream of full time achievements with part time hard work.
Discipline: The parents should ensure that their child possesses the highest degree of core values like honesty, punctuality, dedication, determination and devotion, when it comes to playing cricket. It is important for your child to understand that he has to do it for himself and not to show it off to others. Respecting time is essential in any sport, so it is expected that the child is punctual all the time. Whatever your child excels in, be it batting, bowling or fielding, he should be 100% dedicated, determined and devoted not only during the matches but also during the practice. Sachin Tendulkar in one of the interviews said, “I have never thrown my cricket bat”. Taking cognizance of this, it is expected of every child to respect the sport irrespective of the fact whether he has a good or bad day. While playing the game, your child is required to concentrate on academics as well. Placing emphasis on both, sports and education, will help in the overall development of the child.
Fitness: Fitness is the only way forward; just batting and bowling is not cricket. One needs to be an athlete first. Watching the game on TV and seeing the glamour and then buying the branded kit and then hitting nets straightaway next day doesn’t serve the purpose. The effort behind this is tremendous and every child should be willing and determined to go that extra mile to achieve the highest level of fitness.
Patience: Once you have given your child to a coach, give your child and the coach some time for child’s game development unless something seriously goes wrong. No coach has a magic wand; it is the child’s initiative in the form of dedication, hard work, discipline, attitude, approach, and fitness that counts. The coach can then help the child in honing the player’s skills. Have faith in your coaches whom you have selected.
Academy/coaches are the best judges on child’s game development i.e. they are the best judges in which department your child can excel. Please don’t push your decisions and judgments to them which is not good for your child’s game. For example if your child is genuinely a good batsman and can go places because of his batting then don’t try and push him to become a bowler just simply because you like him to become a bowler as this may leave him nowhere ultimately.
Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is essential in the development of good player.
The bottom line is make your child a disciplined athlete first. It needs to be ingrained in the child that just batting or bowling is not cricket. There are a lot many dimensions to the game which requires a good number of sacrifices to be made. ‘IT’S A JUNOON’. Let only score book speak for your child as ultimately only score book/sheet matters in the long run.
The above mentioned list of simple Do’s and Don’t’s speak volumes and it is necessary that the parents of the aspiring cricketers take cognizance of the same.
Cricketgraph team thanks Sanjay Dogra for sharing these valuable insights