A couple of weeks ago, one of our adult volunteers joined us to find out a little bit more about our Junior Coaching on Thursdays and Fridays. Nicole Barrett spent some time with our team during their training of children aged 8 - 16.
Coach Adam Page, known as “Spud”, explained that he started his own cricket journey with the Club aged 6 while being a passionate junior football player. “My love for cricket took over when I was 13. I loved training and even more playing to win. Representing the Club was important to me then as it is now; and when I was asked to develop my coaching skills at 15, I felt like I had won the lottery.”
The team at Hastings Priory and Spud believe that cricket is the best sport ever (!). It doesn't matter what your abilities are, your age or gender. Its a sport that helps develop extensive practical skills combined with strategic and critical thinking. Teamwork and communication are as much of a part of the sport as being able to bat a ball. These are skills that will support any person throughout their lives.
Since Spud was invited to develop into a junior-coach he focussed on finishing school and training to become a fully qualified coach. His passion for sport and cricket now enables him to work for the Sussex Cricket Foundation while also volunteering and competing for Hastings Priory. Spud says “The Club backed me up through the good and tough parts of life. We are mates and [they are] my family support system. I am passionate about helping children enjoy the sport, progress at their own pace and just love being around their team mates. These are the reasons why I coach. ...
What we do know is that girls usually decide their life long love for sport, any sport, by the time they turn 11 - at the end of primary school, whereas boys tend do do this by the time they turn 14.
It is really important to get kids into sport from a primary school age and keep them going through their teens. Sport is so good for their well-being throughout their growing years and can just give a healthy balance to life. Team sport especially helps bring balance to our ever so stressful lives, supporting positive mental health.
Chatting to Spud in the winter training hall at Horntye Sports Complex, he is surrounded by a group of teenage girls and boys, excited to join in the conversation. They are positively bouncing while putting together their team of 11 Marvel cricketers. Ironman being Spud’s No 1 choice for opening batsman with the young cricketers offering Black Panther as No 6 for being quick and rapid and No 8 for Captain Marvel for an awesome all rounder. With the Marvel team built, Spud sends them off on the next round of training.
Spud chuckled and told Nicole “Don’t get me wrong, I am very competitive! I play to win and I am gonna win! Competing for the Club in the Premier League 1XI team and for the 2XI is so exciting. I am never going to play for another Club!”
Coaching is Spud’s way of giving back, a way of helping the next generation find a balance in life and a love for a sport that is open to all.
Hastings Priory Junior Cricketers are competitive and eager to win, just like Spud. Its ok to win, its ok to lose - as long as they give it their best shot and don't give up. Having fun is important, as is team work and resilience in the face of defeat.
With the new 2020 season almost upon us, we cannot wait to get the kids out onto the field.