South Africa men’s cricket national team assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe, is an individual beloved by many because of his outlook and approach to both the sport and the team. Empathetic and attentive, it is easy to see why he has achieved such a significant number of milestones in a relatively young coaching career. Forced to
Enoch Nkwe: The more you listen, the more you learn [The Idea-Sharing Project Ep. #2]
He 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.
Sometimes success can give rise to biases that create barriers to collaboration and teamwork. Biases like the self-serving attribution bias. These biases create a fertile ground for finger-pointing, blaming, lack of accountability and shirking responsibility. All which erode trust and team culture.
What athletes do, though it looks easy to the viewer or analyst, is a result of years and years of deep and targeted practice, years and years of myelin accumulation. As viewers, casual observers, analysts and commentators, we need an extra second to take in information in relation to the match situation. Athletes need much less time to make decisions and take action.
The behaviour of members of successful teams is full of belonging cues. These cues are not apparent in isolated moments or only when the team is doing well, but at all times, including when the team is struggling.
“At the end of each day, we are all a little different from who we were at the start of each day. You are not the same person you were when you woke up. The question is, are you a little better or a little worse.”
“You never leave a day the same, you either leave a little bit better or a little bit worse, so don’t waste a day,” Grant Morgan
“It’s more about my experiences as a player and the coaches who touched my heart, and also those bad experiences with coaches I hated. So I just worked out the best way forward for myself and making sure that I don’t change who I am as a person.”
Distractions account for an incredibly high number of dropped points, lost matches and missed opportunities in sport. Therefore, it’s little wonder that opposition “mental disintegration” was a part of Steve Waugh’s tactics. Nowadays, across all sports codes, opponents try to upset each other’s focus and concentration to get an edge. Couple that with the demands of the leagues and fans, among others, that leave an athlete depleted both physically and mentally.
Coaches are not magicians and do not perform wizardry. Changes in coaching do not often result in immediate results because the same new brand of play, new philosophy and new culture all take time to take root and develop. For the most part, the coach will seem tactically inept as players yo-yo between the new direction and what they are accustomed to.