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UK Coaching Team
2
Talent and Performance

Getting Technical: The Rise of the Specialist Coach

It’s not just Hollywood blockbusters that need myriad technical experts behind the scenes to make the stars look good. As Richard Gibson discovers, sports teams too are increasingly realising the benefits of specialist help

Not so long ago the attitude was very much: ‘too many cooks.’ But within the last decade, there has been a sea change towards specialist coaches. Now they are viewed as adding to the ingredients rather than spoiling the recipe.

Take cricket as an example. Since 2013, England have taken at least a 17-strong support staff on major tours, a ratio of a non-playing member for every single player. Compare that to just three decades ago when our best cricketers trekked across the globe with only Bob Bennett, the tour manager, for company.

These days there are coaches for everything, and elite athletes are comfortable working with a range of people including:

  • masseurs
  • psychologists
  • nutritionists
  • video analysts.

Previously, if a cricketer had a technical problem, whether it be batting, bowling or catching, he would work things out with his teammates. It was a process that developed team spirit and camaraderie.

Advances in specialist expertise, however, mean that all aspects of the game are given attention with the head coach at the top of the chain.

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UK Coaching Team