The Elite Cricket Performance structure at Derbyshire County Cricket Club, ushered in by Graeme Welch, is up and running. Here is Part 1 of our special report regarding what elite performance means and how it will raise the bar in terms of preparation and ultimately performances.
Graeme Welch has vowed to bring a new culture to Derbyshire – and he has begun by introducing 7am training sessions.
The Club’s recently appointed first Elite Cricket Performance Director is laying down an early marker of professionalism, hard work and intensity to the squad having started work at the County Ground less than a fortnight ago.
The early morning stints have focussed largely on fitness as well as sessions with ECB’s Lead Fielding Coach for Women’s Cricket, Cookie Patel.
Welch said: “I want to create a hard working culture in an enjoyable environment; and I want the lads to really regard their values.
“We’ve started to change the culture a little bit, getting them in at 7am to show how hard they have to work and this is how we mean to go on. We’re buying into the Elite Performance ethos.
“I’ve had a chance to sit down with the whole squad and discuss our expectations.
“Our chats have been very values based. We’ve put a few rules in place regarding punctuality and dress code for instance. And we’ll slowly implement these rules which will hopefully help create a good culture.”
“We plan to do some one-to-one profiling in the coming weeks, but I’ve had individual chats with a few of them and given them their own goals.
“You’ve got to get the culture and environment first. Then I want us to play the long game.
“I want us to be patient, especially in LV= County Championship cricket. I want us to be aware of the game situation and be physically fit to make sure we’re able to act on that. If we can put the processes in place, hopefully that can move us forward.”
Welch has, meanwhile, identified specific areas in which Derbyshire can improve short-term, to provide the best opportunity for success come the start of April.
“The impression I got last year was that Derbyshire would be in a good place for a third of the game, but then one bad session would cost them the match.
“They stayed in the hunt quite a lot, so I’m just trying to figure out why they would struggle in certain sessions. It could be down to a few things, either game awareness or belief in what you’re doing. So that’s what we’re trying to improve.
“We want to bring intensity, for example we’ll get quotes and pictures on the wall to help inspire. We’ll raise the professionalism and hopefully that will help.
“I’ve looked through the squad and we’ve got some very good cricketers.
“When we go out on the field, those cricketers will be physically, tactically and mentally prepared. That will give us the best possible chance of success.”
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