On 25 March 2019, Enoch Nkwe, the Proteas assistant coach, shared a post on Instagram. It read, “Leaders who do not listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.”
It may sound odd that a coach, an individual that many expect to do a lot of talking in the dressingroom and out in the field during training, would place listening high up there as a priority for him. But, if you consider that to understand players on an individual level, the coach needs to listen and pay attention, it starts to make a lot sense. And it’s not only the players that he needs to listen and pay attention to. There are analysts, bowling coaches, batting coaches, physiotherapists and a host of other support staff whose input is vital to the development and wellbeing of the team.
However, it does need to be said that Enoch does not just listen for the purposes of the above-mentioned reasons alone. He also listens because he loves learning new things, understanding different perspectives and taking in different ideas. That is just the way he is. And it is that nature that he possesses that is the reason why he has achieved so much as a coach, even though he is relatively young in age. He is 38.
The Proteas assistant coach has been coaching for i5 years now, mindblowing if you consider his age. He has been coaching since 2015. His first coaching gig, as a player-coach with HCC Rood en Wit, he won two Hoofdklasse titles. The Hoofdklaasse is the second highest domestic cricket competition in the Netherlands. Thereafter he joined Gauteng as the Under-19s coach, before moving on to the SA Under-19 team as an assistant coach to Ray Jennings.
From then onwards, everything he touched turned to gold as he won titles at every stop he made. He led the Lions Cubs to the CSA Cubs Week title in 2013. Not only that, but he also won all three Cricket South Africa competitions between 2013 and 2016 with Gauteng Strikers. These exploits earned him the CSA Amateur Coach of the Year award in 2015.
Enoch has also coached in the Canadian Global T20 league with Vancouver Knights and has been the Netherlands National Cricket Team as Assistant Coach, a position he relinquished when he had to return to South Africa to take over the reigns as head coach for Highveld Lions, with whom he won the CSA T20 Challenge and the 4Day Sunfoil Series in his first season. He also led the T20 outfit Jozi Stars to lifting the Mzansi Super League title.
Ever humble and keen to credit others, Enoch attributes his success to teamwork and the contributions of others.
He joins me on this episode of the Idea-Sharing Project.