The American Cricket Federation (ACF) coach certification program managed by coach Jatin Patel, a convenor/member of the ACF’s Advisory & Judiciary Committee, celebrates its 4th anniversary this week.
The Cricket Coach Education program was launched in May 2014, two years after the formation of the ACF. The cricket coach certification program 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 in a statement.
Jamie Harrison, founder of the United States Youth Cricket Association and an advocate of youth cricket development, commenting on the launching of the ACF coach education program in 2014 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.”
The coach certification program issues Level 1 and Level 2 certifications. The Level 1 program was launched in May 2014 and the Level 2 certification was launched one year later. ACF is expected to launch a Coaching, Administration & Management (CAM) program for academies and after school program facilitators this fall.
To date ACF has trained coaches certified to conduct Level 1 clinics in 23 states. Level 2 certified coaches are capable of training Level 1 coaches, and there is an ample number of available instructors to do so year round, on demand. As of this May there are 131 Level 2 certified coaches in the USA, 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 (PE) curriculum in schools. The 323 ACF certified coaches does not include school teachers, educators and future PE teachers trained at six universities in the last five years, and many PE teachers at the elementary school levels. Thirteen Level 2 coaching clinics at different cities in the USA have been held since May 2015.
In just four years the ACF cricket-coaching program has established itself as USA’s only cricket coaching program that’s based on how educators in the USA best understand the game of cricket and how they prefer to teach their youth scholars in schools and colleges.
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 USA’s cricket history. ACF continues to expand its coach’s network in the USA, while helping leagues and club communities develop youth cricket programs, by sponsoring coaching camps at no cost to those hosting the training clinics.
“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,” said Patel. “I always enjoy helping others as a volunteer for the love of the game.”
The most recent ACF coaching clinic for the 2018 season was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was at full capacity with 20 coaches being trained as part of the weekend batch of coach trainees. 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.
With the ICC’s recent decision to globalize cricket based on the T20 format, ACF is stepping up to make our coaching program available to other ICC Associate member countries that are in a similar position like USA, when the ACF coach certification program was launched.
Patel is a Cricket Australia Level 2 and ICC Certified Coach, with a High School Coaches Diploma from NSCAA and a Certified Interscholastic Coach (CIC) for High School sports certified by the NFHS, USA. Coach Patel also holds US Soccer national Coaching & Officiating credentials.