Peter Wellings: Cricket History
After gaining an Honours Degree in Leisure Management, Peter travelled through the club cricket route to join Middlesex CCC whom he trialled with in 1995 then signed professional terms for the 1996/97 seasons.
After retiring from First Class Cricket, he set up 'Coaching Cricket Excellence' with the aim of providing top quality cricket coaching to both children and adults of all ages and abilities.
Peter’s involvement with top class representative cricket continued and he captained the Minor Counties U25 XI, Middlesex Cricket Board and Middlesex League representative sides and also represented the England Amateur XI on eight occasions. Peter’s coaching CV includes:
- Head Coach of the British Army Cricket Team 1998-2000
- Head Coach UK Combined Services Cricket 1998-2000
- Overseas Director Of Cricket East Bay Youth Cricket Association, California, USA (Current)
- Overseas Player & Coaching Consultant Coronation CC, South Africa (Current)
- Head Coach Ealing CC Academy, west London 2003-2012
- Director Of Cricket DPS Rewari School, Haryana, India (Current)
- Coaching Consultant Richmond CC, west London (Current)
Peter is now an ECB Level III coach running cricket coaching activities in the UK and all over the world. He speaks competent Hindi, Urdu, French and Afrikaans. Peter has coached in over 10 different countries including India, the United States, France, Australia, Barbados, South Africa and Uganda and he believes passionately that cricket can be the catalyst to develop not only a person's sporting ability but also their character:
"Cricket is a way of life for me. Whether I'm running projects in England or India I've seen the benefit that playing cricket can give, especially to children. Cricket's values are founded on honesty, integrity and respect and whether you’re a total beginner aged 4 or a professional player it always has something to teach you about sport and life."
To me the most important aspect of coaching is to enhance the natural ability that a cricketer possesses. For some that will mean making adjustments to their technique to enable them to best utilise their skill whereas for others, simply encouraging them to play as feels natural is the best course.
Good technique is desirable but it's not the only thing - mental toughness, the will to win and staying calm under pressure are the real keys to being a successful cricketer. If I was to give one piece of advice to a cricketer or team above all others, it would be to practice as you play. Whether you're in the nets, bowling to a keeper or doing some fielding practice, you should train with the same intensity as you would do in a real match. Train hard – fight easy is a phrase used by the British Army and I think it’s spot on.
As for coaching children, the best method is to challenge them to find out what they themselves are capable of whilst giving them bags of encouragement. "You've caught 10 balls on the trot - now let's try 15", "Great shot, can you do it again?" Children will instinctively want to do something better - showing them ways they can achieve that goal then letting them work it out for themselves is the key. Healthy competition is essential and makes sessions so much more fun. I use competitive scenarios all the time when coaching and then insist that everyone shakes hands and says ‘well played’ at the end. If cricket isn’t fun then what’s the point?
From the young star who excels in all aspects of the game to the child who lacks real ability but simply enjoys playing cricket, we should all do everything we can to foster their love of the sport. Enthusiasm, involvement, congratulations on doing well, a kind word when the game goes against them - all of these will inspire children to fall in love with cricket and once that happens, the rest takes care of itself.