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An Exciting Career in Cricket Coaching- Thoughts of Lisa Pagett

By Lisa Pagett, Clubs and Programmes Officer at the Gloucestershire Cricket Board

As a female coach working in cricket, it is a hugely exciting time. The news that the England Women’s team are turning professional is perhaps a step I didn’t think would arrive quite so soon, but a fantastic recognition of the success of the England Women’s team and the performance pathway that has helped form such world class performances. Perhaps more importantly for young girls playing the game, it provides a vision of the future where being a professional sportswoman is possible.

In my full time role with Gloucestershire Cricket Board, I have the luxury of being able to work across a wide range of different areas, including the development of women and girls cricket across the pathway. This could range from working in schools engaging girls into the game for the first time, to coaching on the Gloucestershire Girls Emerging Players Programme with potential England Players of tomorrow. Currently we have 16 girls’ indoor cricket tournaments happening around the County, the planning of six social tournaments for women new to cricket, six women and girls leagues for clubs to enter and newly formed Girls Street Chance projects giving girls the chance to play cricket from non-traditional cricketing populations. So it is fair to say that there is plenty going on!

But what makes the difference from these activities simply happening, to thriving? I truly believe that high quality coaching can be the significant differentiator in moving initiatives to the next level and creating an opportunity for girls to thrive – whether at the beginner age, or (aspiring) elite stage. Do I believe that this needs to be delivered solely by female coaches? Absolutely not, there is some greatly impressive coaching practice occurring in the women and girls game by a wide range of coaches, both male and female. There is however a necessity to increase and develop the presence of females in cricket, and just in the same way that the England Women’s Cricketer are outstanding role models to players, developing female role models as coaches becomes just as important in connecting females to the many fulfilling roles that cricket can offer.

I am currently working through the ECB Master Coach (Level 4) qualification which has been a hugely enlightening experience so far. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some of the best practitioners cricket has to offer and test my understanding of myself and of my interpretation of coaching. At various intervals there are elements to the course that take you out of your comfort zone – at no stage in my life did I ever foresee myself coaching Australian test legend Jason Gillespie how to hopscotch (!) but the process of being uncomfortable is often when I learned the most. I’d encourage all females to take that first step that may feel a bit uncomfortable – it could be doing your first coaching qualification or leading a session for the first time, whatever it is, if you are willing to get stuck in and are prepared to learn then you will come out the other side having grown.

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