A brilliant coach

Here’s a fantastic article on Adam Gilchrist (Australian cricket legend). I know this is not on golf, but there’s a lesson here for every kind of sportsperson.

It gives a hint on why Gilchrist was able to change the game. There’s also some fantastic coaching hidden in one line. Here’s part of the article.

For all their specialisation, though, the programs had the same ending.

OK, Ad, just hit the ball now.”

This was the bit he’d been waiting for. Enough getting into line. Enough footwork. Enough nose over the ball. Now just hit it.

He blasted that ball with freedom and joy. Mostly it plunged into the netting, saving the windows or the long chase into the paddocks over what was literally cow corner. In his mind’s eye, the ball flew into the Ponsford Stand, over the Victor Richardson Gates, smashing the windows of the Lord’s Tavern. The ball grew wings to match his own.

“Ok, Ad, just hit the ball now”.

This is a brilliant bit of coaching. There’s no fuss or confusion here. Gilchrist was given free reign to play the game in a way that suited him. He was not bogged down with thought on technique or rules. He was free to play the game.

It might be true that Adam Gilchrist would have been special no matter what his father told him, but I think those 7 small words helped change the way the game was played. They allowed a natural and hard working talent to shine through and play remarkably. I wish all coaches had the same emptiness of approach and understanding of performance. Sadly, most don’t.

Stats, positions, technique, team rules and winning dominate. Playing the game is almost forgotten. But what better way to play the game for any batsman (or golfer) than to hit the ball?

When you next wander onto the first tee it might help you to take a leaf from the Gilchrist book and repeat to yourself,

“Ok, (insert name here), just hit the ball now”

Give it a go. You might just surprise yourself with what you get.


Not sure how to go out and “just hit the ball”? Then get your hands on my golf book. It covers the process in great detail.

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  • Andrew

    Reply Reply October 31, 2011

    I read that article as well I have always loved to watch Gilchrist bat he has superb timing and power which at times seemed effortless, much like ernie els golf swing. I suppose the “just hit the ball now” frees us from all the thinking that usually happens before the swing that gets in the way of our natural easy swing.
    If I make a decision that I have done all my required preparation before I swing then just hit the ball the results are usually a better swing, ball contact and flight.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply October 31, 2011

      If I make a decision that I have done all my required preparation before I swing then just hit the ball the results are usually a better swing, ball contact and flight.

      Yep, that’s all you can do. It’s a much easier way to play the game. Bad is never usually too bad and the good can be extraordinary.

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply October 31, 2011

    It really is about uncomplicating the game when all said and done.After going through a particularly rough patch of recent (really frustrated) and receiving an email from yourself I went out at the weekend and decided to keep things simple and even with my technique driven mate managed to play half decent. Auto is back.
    Cheers Lukey

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