Meet the coaches - Robin "Mazza" Maslin
You’ve been with us now for over 10 years, what have been some of the highlights?
There have been a lot! I've coached in at least 7 countries. I really enjoy building projects abroad.
I think best of all has been reaching the stage where some of our boys and girls are teammates. We've played some adult games with the Academy and they've done themselves proud.
It's nice feeling all the hard work over years has come together...which you get every now and again. This year we're playing in a senior league. Bring on the summer!
Why did you want to be a cricket coach?
I fell into it a little bit. It started off with volunteering.
How do you make your sessions fun as well as constructive?
To an extent, the two come hand in hand! If they get better, they'll enjoy cricket more. If they enjoy it, they'll commit more to the session. For even the simplest skills, I have about 10 different activities. Trick them into doing the same thing over and over...but in a different way.
What is your coaching style?
Treat coaching as an education. Build an understanding why we do things a certain way, not just saying what to do. I try to have empathy. Cricket is a very hard sport, and children put a lot of pressure on themselves. And I don't want to add to it.
Who were your cricket inspirations growing up?
Jonty Rhodes - I love fielding and he was the best! He could change a game with a special catch or run out.
Marcus Trescothick - He made batting look really easy.
What have you learnt during your time as a coach?
To not stop learning. Every time you think you've "cracked it", something will make you realise you don't know everything. Coaching teams are like families...everyone is different, and that's a good thing. Try to complement each other instead of clashing (this is important for clubs and teams as well!)
What, in your opinion, makes a great cricketer?
Inner strength and resilience. There can be a lot of setbacks in cricket. But keep faith that what you are doing will work!