Tampa Cricket League (TCL), founded in 2007, is one of the main organizers of adult and youth cricket events in the Tampa Bay area. In September 2016, TCL kicked off its youth program with a single coach and a few students. Since then, the program has expanded, and as of today, there are 42 participants enrolled. The demand for trained coaches thus increased in the Tampa Bay Area, and to meet those demands, TCL hosted the Level 1 and Level 2 coaching certification clinics and practical training sessions on January 11-12 for its coaches at the Commissioner Al Higginbotham Fields in Seffner Florida. Players of the Tampa Bay Sunrisers Women’s Cricket Club were invited to participate in the sessions as it is TCL’s vision to grow women’s cricket in the community.
Introducing cricket at a grassroots level has been a challenge not only in the Tampa Bay Area but also in other states of the continental United States. A shortage of well-trained coaches makes the mission more challenging, if not impossible. TCL understands that the platform for cricket cannot be sustained without a strong foundation of well-trained coaches who bring their own set of expertise to the table. When combined, a well-trained coaching staff can promote and sustain the sport of cricket through peer to peer mentoring as well as getting resourceful information and support from the American Cricket Federation (ACF).
This weekend-long cricket coaching clinics conducted by Jatin Patel, A.C.F.’s Director of Coaching and renowned coaching facilitator nationwide, enabled new coaches to get started on their journey of coaching the next generation of talented players. The vision and experience that Mr. Jatin Patel brings to these coaching sessions are second to none.
Having played the game with the stalwarts and considering his active involvement with many of the current breed of international cricketers, he is apt for training the next generation of coaches. We never felt as though Coach Patel was teaching or preaching, as all the sessions were practically conducted with bat and ball in hand. Starting from the basics of the game, player corrections to game situations, he blended everything so well. He empowered the attendees by sharing his immense knowledge of the game acquired from years of experience.
On January 11, Mr. Patel worked with the coaches for the Level 1 basics and introduction to cricket with fundamentals. About 15 kids from TCL participated and helped coaches learn from the live examples. It was very productive and also provided in-depth knowledge about the basics of the game, parent-kid management, etc.
On January 12, Mr. Patel conducted multiple sessions with 10 new coaches along with the 15 youth players mentioned above from TCL, whose skill levels are at a high to the advanced stage. Mr. Patel helped the coaches understand and read all aspects of a player and the game, which included fielding, bowling, and batting drills with the youth players. He also conducted a T10 competition with the youth players participating in it to understand game tactics.
There were classroom sessions on various aspects of cricket administration and management, including collaborating with the local governments, counties, and municipalities, as well as local schools. Mr. Patel shared his excellent understanding of the game and also taught the coaches how to deal with situations and intricacies of the game. He shared materials with in-depth details of all aspects of cricket, along with physical fitness, game reading skills, etc.
Nitheesh Shetty, President, Tampa Cricket League, remarked, “TCL would like to thank Mr. Jatin Patel and ACF for facilitating this top of the line coaching certification camp for TCL coaches. It will help the youth players immensely, to advance to the next stage. Coach Patel has an excellent understanding of the game and reads the techniques and intricacies of the game. He taught the new coaches the importance of not trying to change the style of the players, instead to tweak them and help them to get better at what they do.”
“It was an awesome camp, all participants witnessed the extensive knowledge of coaching by Coach Jatin Patel. I want to thank Coach Patel for giving us great guidance and showing us the right direction of how to go about coaching and passing on the knowledge acquired to the younger generation, to make a better tomorrow. It was a fun interactive learning experience with Coach Jatin Patel,” concluded Jyotsna Patel, former India women’s Test cricketer, USF women team coach, and a TCL youth coach.
According to Dunae Nathaniel, former USA. Player, U19 player (2006) and Antigua & Barbuda U13, U16 and U19 player, “I am very impressed with coach Jatin Patel’s hands-on approach and coaching style. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge he shared over the weekend, and I am looking forward to using that knowledge to promote the youngsters who are the future for cricket in the USA. One thing I will always remember is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). I will carry that for the rest of my life. I will also like to thank Coach Patel for showing me the many ways in which we can educate and connect with our players and get the message across to the students, with effectiveness. I wish to thank him for a very productive weekend of coaching with knowledge and training. I can’t wait to put what I’ve learned to use.”
“Coach Jatin Patel is a well-informed individual when it comes to cricket and does an incredible job at imparting his knowledge of the game to his students. His experience with local and international cricketers makes him the most qualified person to train aspiring coaches. He gives great tips and advice on how to face almost every situation a coach can encounter. His coaching style is informative and interactive and is accompanied by his great sense of humor. I was extremely fortunate to have participated in this clinic, and I have acquired the adequate knowledge and skills to make me a confident, aspiring coach.” said Vasudha Prithipaul, U.S.F., and Tampa Bay Sunrisers Women’s Cricket Club Player.
Amrish Patel said, “It was an excellent experience with coach Jatin Patel. He gave us some very good coaching ideas in a short time, and by simplest of means. He’s a very nice coach and knowledgeable individual. I learned a lot over the weekend, thanks to Coach Patel.”
“It was amazing two days with coach Jatin Patel, the information was shared unbelievable let’s put it this way there was no dull moment. Thank you, Jatin Patel & TCL.,” said Irfan Hassan.
About the ACF Coach Certification Program
The American Cricket Federation Cricket (ACF) Coach Certification Level 1 program was launched in May 2014, followed by the Level 2 certification program one year later in June 2015. Since the launch, 27 States can now boast of having certified ACF cricket coaches to help grass-root level youth and school programs. Overall, 26 youth programs and leagues in the USA have benefited through the ACF coach certification program.