Immensely talented people many a times are unable to pass on their skills to others. That could be one of the reasons why many great players have not been successful as coaches.
Rahul Dravid, India’s Under-19 team coach, had immense talent as a player, and has now shown that he also has the skills to pass on his knowledge from the game to budding youngsters.
This is what made India the Under-19 World Cup champions.
I was fortunate to have been able to trail Dravid’s career and witness some of his finest knocks; but what impressed me most was not just the beautiful strokes that he played but how he carried himself as a cricketer, both on and off the field.
He gave the impression of a man in complete control over the situation, however tough it maybe. That seems to be exactly what he has taught the boys and could well be the major reason behind the team’s emphatic victories in this World Cup.
Coaches may not be able to impart all the cricketing skills, but a coach that inspires through his approach to the game is the finest teacher. Dravid is undoubtedly the best to be considered as a role model.
As a player, he was not someone who broke batting records; but none could deny the fact that he was a master on any type of wicket. The beauty was that he displayed his mastery in a cool manner without any aggressive expressions on his face. His aggression was seen through his knocks that fetched maximum benefit for the team. And that is what he has got the Under-19 boys to do.
The toughest task for a coach or a schoolteacher is to get the students’ focus on their mission. Dravid managed to get a bunch of under-19 boys to focus for 18 months on winning the World Cup, and his trick worked!
Very often talented boys reach a stage of indecisiveness and unable to decide where to go next. It is at this stage you need a coach with the willingness to impart his knowledge. For those who wonder whether Dravid deserves such praise should remember that to toil hard to shape youngsters, especially after a long cricket career, requires a heart with absolute devotion to cricket. And to embark on a mission to shape the future stars of India makes him a true cricketer to the core.
Dravid may not be the best coach in the world, but all that he has done is to help the boys find the skills within themselves and work on it. He has also conveyed to everyone that a cricketer’s life does not end with his playing days, and if devoted to the game it can never end. For a nation to remain on top, it needs noble sportsmen like Dravid.