Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Shane Warne Goes Back To Basics


Practice makes perfect, I have often been told. What I know know is that if the practice doesn't make you perfect, then a coach definitely will. Well, neigh-on perfect anyway.

After publicly dissing Australian coach John Buchanan a few weeks ago, I hear news of Shane Warne making an appointment to visit his own long-time coach and mentor, Terry Jenner. Jenner has long been credited with honing Warne's abilities and helping a great deal in transforming the blonde-haired ruffian into a world-beating superstar.

The crux of what Warne has been trying to tell the media over the past couple of months is that a coach doesn't have much significance in international cricket, especially the Aussie team, because the players know it all. I think the problem herein lies with Warne's limited grasp of the English language, excluding The Dictionary of Profanities & Sledging.

Typically, the word "coach" is given to a person who teaches something. Much like a teacher, really. At a young age, a sportsman is used to a "coach" telling him what to do and how to do it. As the said sportsman progresses through to professional level, he gets less and less advice because of two possible reasons:
  1. He thinks he is top sh*t and taking advice is below him (ala the young Vinod Kambli).
  2. He really is top sh*t and there's not much more that anybody can teach him (ala Roger Federer).
Warne and Federer probably don't need a full-time coach. Infrequent tune-ups with Jenner and Peter Roach, respectively, seem to do the trick. One could argue that the same could be said of most of the players in the Australian cricket team. Warne certainly does.

However, in my eyes Warne's beef with the current Australian coach goes further. He does not respect Buchanan because he doesn't believe Buchanan had the cricketing talent of the other players. So, Warne ponders, how can a man who was never close to being as good as us, teach us about cricket? What Warne fails to realise is that the role of the "coach" of an international cricket team is not as much about teaching the sport, as it is about mentoring and motivating. Trying different different methods to keep players performing at their peak.

I contend that Shane might not have a problem with Buchanan if his designation was "Team Motivator" or "Motivational Expert". But then again, he does have a problem with the English language so he may not understand those terms at the outset.

Whatever the reason may be, Shane Warne is not going to appreciate anybody (no, not even a blonde bimbo replete with silicon implants) who dares drag him to the outback for a boot-camp. I love Warnie, for his gaffes, if not his cricketing ability.

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