Youngsters get advice and help from ‘Big Brothers’ in cricket
Kingston, Jamaica—Wednesday, August 2, 2017: Faced with a series of losses over the past two years, members of Jamaica’s Under 15 and Under 17 teams were enrolled in the first phase of the Digicel/CPL Youth Programme, held at Sabina Park in Kingston on Monday, July 31, 2017.
Known as the ‘Big Brother’ initiative, the session started out with a chat between the youngsters and Coach Nixon, as well as players Shane Thomas, Jonathan Foo, Jon-Ross Jaggersar, Kesrick Williams, Garey Mathurin and Andrew Richardson, followed by an intensive skills clinic on the pitch at Sabina Park in Kingston. Reminding the young cricketers that the sport of cricket is more than just winning every game, Coach Nixon led the discussion with the young cricketers, encouraging them to focus instead on learning from their losses.
“The very best batsmen in the world make an average of fifty runs each time they play, although everyone’s goal is to make a century,” shared Nixon. “So that means that they basically fail every second time that they play. But failing is a very important part of cricket—and any sport for that matter—as when you lose, you get an opportunity to step back, look inside yourself and take the challenge to fix your mistakes and play a better game next time.”
He added, “Of course, there’s always going to be some level of emotion when you don’t win. The key is to stay calm and controlled, look at the positives in your plays and focus on how to improve your game. Don’t try to blame team members or put them down either—be a good sportsman and encourage each other and just keep working at building each other up. Win or lose, you’re still a team and you can’t let anything get in the way of that.”
Batsman Jonathan Foo chimed in with his own experience, saying, “Personally, I get very upset after losing a game, because of course no-one likes to lose. However, after a rough match, I always try to cool off first, talk to the coach and do some reflecting on the game to see out where I went wrong. Most importantly, I try to take the positives from the match so that I can build on that and execute the right thing the next time I play.”
After tackling questions from the young cricketers, Coach Nixon and the team took the boys through a number of drills, helping them to improve their techniques and giving them useful tips for game play and team work. The boys were also treated to some ‘pavilion cricket’ against the Tallawahs, which they enjoyed tremendously.
Grateful for the experience and opportunity to meet some of his favourite cricketers, fifteen-year old Matthew Comerie, captain of Jamaica’s U-17 team said, “I really enjoyed this clinic. Getting the chance to come and learn from the coach of the Jamaica Tallawahs and members of the team was a really great experience that I will never forget. I learnt a lot from both sessions on and off the field and I’m going to try my best to apply everything that I learnt today because I’m sure it will help to take me a far way.
The Digicel/CPL Youth Programme also took place in Barbados, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. The second phase of the two-part programme will take place later in August. Digicel, a sponsor of the annual CPL tournament since its inception in 2012, is keen on exposing as many of the island’s young cricketers to the game and the players, through mentorship and training clinic opportunities.