Everyday Heroes: Alexis John Newby

Alexis John NewbyAlexis John Newby played cricket for Lancashire as a junior at all levels. He had a successful trial with Sussex to turn professional that he was unable to take up due to suffering a career ending back injury through bowling. Alexis required two operations on his back, one a discectomy due to a herniated disk which meant that his involvement in cricket looked to be over. After taking a few years out of the game to recover, he returning to play club level cricket but found that he just did not enjoy it as much.

Alexis was led into coaching and more specifically coaching the visually impaired because “I love the game so much, I thought I would take another route into the game... I just enjoy being involved in the sport now though coaching. I think coaching is something you can do even when you have retired” he said.

Although obviously regretful about a lost professional career Alexis takes enjoyment from “Teaching youngsters and adults’ new techniques. Getting children from schools into clubs. With the visually impaired it is seeing their enjoyment. Being blind or partially sighted most of the participants don’t work so being involved in the cricket is a big part of their lives. I want them to enjoy the game and encourage them as much as possible.”

Alexis credits a coach at his cricket club for getting him into coaching and suggesting he take some coaching qualifications during his time rehabbing from his back surgery. In terms of advice for others Alexis says "You have to enjoy the job because there is no point doing it if you don’t. It helps when people are listening and you get praise sometimes or if you get good results out of them. It makes you feel like you have done a good job.”

To be successful coaching the visually impaired Alexis thinks that you need "Good communication skills and always giving good demonstration skills is important. Getting the group around you to listen and also getting feedback from the players in the sessions so I know if I am going wrong or what I need to improve. Sometimes it’s not always the coach who decides the sessions. You should speak to the players and see what they want to improve on or how they want the session to go."

Alexis’ passion for the sport of cricket is evident. He said "I will always be involved in the game, cricket is a big part of my life. With coaching the visually impaired, it isn't just about coaching cricket, it's about helping people. Some are now good friends of mine, they are not just a team that I coach. "

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