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Talent and Performance

Jason Gillespie: the Journey from Ashes Winner to Yorkshire Coach

Gillespie approached his transition from player to coach with the intention of learning from others, advocating professionalism and emphasising the importance of regular communication. Richard Gibson finds out more about his intriguing change in focus

Within a few months of swapping the bowling boots for a tracksuit, Australian cricketer turned coach Jason Gillespie faced some fundamental home truths that would help with his transition and ultimately his success as a top-flight coach.

The first was that Gillespie the coach would not have liked dealing with Gillespie the player of a few years earlier.

Secondly, that no matter how illustrious a playing career you have had – and let’s face it, he was one of the bowlers of his generation in an attack that also comprised Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne – when you become a coach, other people often possess far superior knowledge.

Jason’s development as a coach

Listen to Gillespie discuss his coaching ethos and it is easy to understand why he has met with such success.

He refuses to dwell on past glories as a player – his 259 Test wickets cost a hugely impressive 26 runs apiece – remains open to new thinking and bases all his judgements on honesty, including in the reflection that in the Yorkshire coaching structure he fronted, he was often the junior member.

In the Ashes winter of 2013/14, while four of his players have been contesting the little urn with his Baggy Green successors, the man known affectionately around the cricketing sphere as ‘Dizzy’ began the final stage of his official coaching education, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Level 4 certificate.

Over the following two and a half years he went on a university course for professional development. From a coach’s perspective, that is to review all aspects of a role they already perform to an elite level. And evaluation is already a subject Jason has broached.

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