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Meet the coaches - John Matthews

As you are new to the company, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I may be new to the company as an employee but have known Darren for about 12 years and have done various bits of work for T20 and supported Darren with some of his initiatives.

I have had a career in education for the last 40 years. During that time, I have had a variety of roles; Physical Education teacher, Head of Physical Education, Assistant Head, School Business Manager, GCSE Physical Education Moderator and have run the Association for Physical Education.

I have coached cricket for a similar amount of time, in schools, at club level, disability cricket at county level and junior Deaf cricket at national level.

I have three “grown up children”, one of who is Deaf, hence my interest in Deaf cricket, which is where I first came across Darren.

I still play cricket (Sunday team for Englefield Green CC), enjoy playing tennis and try very hard to stay physically fit.

Why did you want to be a cricket coach?

I have always loved the game and its physical and mental challenges, its tactics, its ethos and charm.

Coaching was a natural combination of my love for the game and my role as a Physical Education teacher. I have always enjoyed watching players develop and make the most of their abilities.

How do you know, as a coach, if you are doing an effective job?

I have no idea, probably best to ask anyone who I’ve coached!

Winning games is nice, but seeing individual players flourish over time in terms of skills, understanding the game as well as appreciating it are, I believe, the real measure.

What is your coaching style?

As much player led as possible.

The extent of this obviously varies with the player’s age and experience, but I try to be a “mirror” offering insights and guidance as how they might improve. At time, cricket can be over complicated, so try to help player see it in its most simple terms.

Who were your cricket inspirations growing up?

John Emburey

Mike Brearley

Michael Holding

How have you remained active during lockdown?

I’ve done my best to remain active – walking (it’s interesting that I now think nothing of walking for 2 hours), cycling, I have a set of resistance ropes, I use body weight exercises and have started trying to develop my dynamic mobility.

What, in your opinion, makes a great cricketer?

Application to make the most of your abilities, respect for everyone else involved and a sense of humility.

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