The American Cricket Federation recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of its coach certification program, the Cricket Coach Education Program, led by renowned Indian American coach Jatin Patel, it said in a May 7 news release.
The coach certification program launched in May 2014, two years after the formation of the federation, it said.
Patel, a convener and member of the federation’s advisory and judiciary committee, served as the brainchild of the program, which is designed from an American coach’s perspective on how educators understand the game and teach it to scholars.
Following such guidelines, it is expected that coaching cricket to American boys and girls would be much easier, as well as certifying the coaches, based on coaching techniques employed by American sport coaches, ACF said.
"Rather than remain dependent on occasional and sporadic one-off coach-education sessions conducted for Americans by foreign cricket bodies, (today) American cricket takes control of its own future through the establishment of its own comprehensive American coach-education system," Jamie Harrison, founder of the United States Youth Cricket Association and an advocate of youth cricket development, said at the time of the program’s launching.
The Level 1 program was launched in May 2014 and the Level 2 certification was in 2015. To date ACF has trained coaches certified to conduct Level 1 clinics in 26 states.
ACF conducted 14 Level 2 clinics where certified coaches were trained to offer training to Level 1 coaches, and there is an ample number of available instructors to do so year-round, on demand, the release said.
As of May 2019, there are 189 Level 2 certified coaches in the U.S., and that does not include county coaches, school and college educators.
The Level 1 scholastic program includes coaching the basics and introducing cricket as part of the physical education curriculum in schools.
The 382 ACF certified coaches does not include many school teachers, educators and future PE teachers trained at six universities in the last five years, and many PE teachers at the elementary school level.
Fourteen Level 2 coaching clinics at different cities in the U.S. have been held at various leagues, academies or youth programs since May 2015, the release said.
In the five years, the ACF cricket-coaching program has established itself as U.S.’s only cricket coaching program that’s based on how educators in the U.S. best understand the game of cricket and how they prefer to teach their youth scholars in schools and colleges, ACF boasts.
ACF has trained more Level 1 and Level 2 coaches than all other past projects and initiatives by foreign cricket boards and education programs in U.S. cricket history.
ACF continues to expand its coach’s network in the U.S., while helping leagues and club communities develop youth cricket programs, by sponsoring coaching camps at no cost to those hosting the training clinics, it said.
“Knowledge is the most important in sports coaching and I am thankful to ACF for providing the opportunity and platform to pass on the coaching knowledge and ideas to so many new coaches; which can help them in their youth cricket coaching endeavors,” Patel said. “I always enjoy helping others as a volunteer and my love for the game.”
The most recent ACF coaching clinic for the 2019 season was hosted by Hoysala and Massachusetts State Cricket league, and held at Lexington, Massachusetts.
ACF would like to continue helping cricket communities where coaching initiatives never existed. It is the best approach to making cricket a true American sport, the federation added.
With the ICC’s recent decision to globalize cricket based on the T20 format and the U.S. acquiring ODI status, ACF is stepping up to make its coaching program available to other ICC Associate member countries that are in a similar position like the U.S., when the ACF coach certification program was launched, it said.
Patel is a Cricket Australia Level 2 and ICC Certified Coach, with a high school coaches diploma from the NSCAA and a certified interscholastic coach for high school sports certified by the NFHS. Patel also holds U.S. Soccer national coaching and officiating credentials.
The initiative of the ACF cricket coaching program is an integral part of the growth of cricket and the sport becoming a part of the U.S. sports environment, the federation continued.
ACF and Patel will continue to develop initiatives and programs that simplify the basics of coaching cricket to an American audience and youth still skeptical about the sport, it said.