What’s the secret of inspiring greatness in the next generation of sports stars?
Maybe there isn’t one. Maybe there’s a whole bunch of things we can do. I reflected on this and how businesses can help when attending a cricket coaching event with Ed Crowther of Agent & Homes recently.
The Cricket Champions event at Lord’s on Sunday 21st November was sponsored personally by Ed, a very generous act. He arranged for six junior cricketers to be invited to the Indoor Cricket School for a coaching session with Middlesex CCC, England and Northern Superchargers wicketkeeper and batsman, John Simpson. To qualify, the juniors had to enter a competition by submitting a video of themselves playing and write a paragraph about why they wished to attend the session. The winning entrants were invited to have a two-hour coaching session with John, and enjoyed a Q&A session afterwards filled with excellent advice they can implement to enjoy the game and develop themselves as people.
My four key takeaways from the event:
- For juniors – Practise on your own. Work hard on your game and on your fitness. Dream big and chase your dreams. Keep at your education too, because a sports star’s life may end quickly and there’s a long way to go afterwards.
- For parents – Develop and encourage a love of the game in your child. Talk about what’s happening at the professional level. Keep things positive and find the right balance between firmness and empathy.
- For professional sports stars – The demands you face are significant but find ways to give back. A couple of hours of your time here and there can have a lasting impact on young people’s lives. And you may just find it rewarding and enjoyable.
- For business leaders – Find ways to give back to communities and charities through initiatives like this. It makes sense for businesses, as a way of creating goodwill, building relationships, and opening up opportunities that will inspire a new generation.
Will we have inspired the next Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler or John Simpson from this session? Only time will tell. But Ed, John and I were delighted to have taken part and made a small difference to the lives of these aspiring cricketers.