Friday, August 10, 2007

The coach that crossed the road

Trevor Bayliss, who used to coach Stuart Clark at New South Wales, is now the coach of Sri Lanka. And as Sri Lanka and Australia square up in the coming months, Clark had this to say of his recent interchanges with Bayliss.

He’s told me that he knows my game inside out and that the Lankans will smash me around the park. I’ve told him that they’ve no chance if he’s basing that on his useless coaching tips.

Hmmm… now that’s a problem with coaches being shopped across the world. The man who spent three years shaping you goes off to coach your opposition, and now he can use all that knowledge against you. Of course we have county colleagues who are national opponents (and vice versa), but a coach is different – he works on tightening a player’s (and team’s) technique and addressing weak spots, so how would a player feel if his coach for a long time were to move over to the opposition? Will he become over-conscious of his weaknesses? Will his old insecurities resurface? In view of this possibility, can countries start getting coaches to sign non-compete clauses for defined time intervals, as tends to happen in corporate scenarios in some circumstances?

On a speculative note, if John Buchanan had been shopped midway through his contract with Australia, would the team that contracted him had better chances of beating Australia? I suppose we’ll never know.

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