The Perfect Guru

Mentors and gurus,we all need them to shine.But picking the right teacher is really very important.The Indian Cricket Team has not always been fortunate in its coaches.To have followed their history, is to know how a bad teacher can squish the best talent in the world.Teaching is oh so much more than imparting knowledge,instilling discipline and creating perfection.In fact, trying to mould every student to fit some abstract idea of “perfect” is probably the best recipe for killing talent.I hope this article from the the ‘Mumbai Mirror’ helps you pick a good mentor.The red ink is all mine.

There’s only one way to coach

Ashish Magotra

When the South African first joined the team in Australia during the Test series, he had not officially taken over as coach. He just stayed in the background, letting them do their own thing.
He observed, learned from them and had a lot of one-on-ones with the players as he tried to see what kind of profile each of them fit. Once that was done, he set about trying to mould them in his own way.

“I think it was interesting to come into this job without any coaching experience. I used the reference of being a player to work with the team. I tried building trust in the environment.

Me and Paddy (Upton) tried to make sure that they knew that we had come to India to make it the best team in the world,” he said. “I feel there is only one way to coach and that’s how I went about it. Luckily, it worked.”

There was surely more than just luck that was involved. And no one will know that better than Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar.

wealthymatters.comFor almost three series’ before Kirsten took over, India was without a coach. Despite that they did well and in fact, when talk of Kirsten taking over first surfaced there were even some suggestions as to whether India needed a full-time coach at all. With Venkatesh Prasad as bowling coach and Robin Singh as field coach, India were getting by pretty well.

But having spent enough time with the team, Kirsten was careful not to disturb the status quo. He gave them the freedom to dream as they had never before. And he made them believe that it was possible.

“When I came into the set-up in 2008, we set two goals. To win the World Cup and to become world number one in Tests,” said Kirsten. “That we’ve managed to do both tells you just how hard the players have worked. This is bunch of cricketers that feels every loss. I urged them to celebrate every win as well to achieve some sort of balance.”

From Kirsten’s end, it was heartening to have a man like Dhoni at the helm of affairs. The Indian skipper was a man who was ready to push himself to breaking point each time he took the field.

“I have never seen a player give as much effort to every game,” Kirsten said. “He is the 100 percent man. I’ve never seen him lose his temper. He loves taking responsibility and when the team loses, no one feels it more than him. He is a great leader. He is the captain for the next few years, no doubt.”

Dhoni’s handling of praise and brickbats with equal ease allowed Kirsten to concentrate on his main job: building relationships with the players which would stand firm in the face of incalculable stress.

“There is man-management which is the most important. You have to give options to the cricketer to cross the ropes and perform his best. It’s about understanding individuals, working with what they have got and how they can improve without changing their technique,” said Kirsten.

I wanted to create an environment where the team was happy and felt like team.(so much for classroom politics) Sachin for me was the leader in this way,” he added.

Indeed, Kirsten looks at Sachin more as a very good friend than as a player. (so much for not fraternizing with the students)And when the best batsman in the world is in your corner, there are few things that go wrong. Add Zaheer Khan, who according to Kirsten is the best medium pacer in the world, and you have a team capable of beating anyone.

Zaheer best bowler

“Zaheer is the best 135kmph bowler in the world right now. He performs well under pressure. I think he is an unbelievable bowler to left-handers,” he said. “Seam bowling is a slight concern but it has always been. But Indian cricket is going to be in a healthy state for a long time.”

For now though, the 43-year-old South African doesn’t have coaching on his mind. He is looking forward to just going back and playing with his children, Joshua and James.

“But there’s a problem there. As soon as I see them hold the bat, I am the first person to immediately jump up and tell them that they are not doing it right,” said Kirsten.

“And they look at me as if they know a lot more than me. If only I hold myself back as I did with the Indian team, they’d probably turn out just right.”

Well, if he can manage to do that then, they’d probably end up as World Champions too. And that’s never a bad thing.


About Keerthika Singaravel

2 Responses to The Perfect Guru

  1. zap197842 says:

    good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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