David Patterson: Once A Coach! Always A Coach!

David Patterson has recently watched the ICC Men’s T20 World
Cup, not just as an outside observer. He has worked with
Australian Cricket for the longest part of his career with a
longstanding connection and interest in the Australian game.

Currently associated with the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club,
Patterson has been in the coaching business for long. He was the High-
Performance Coach for Cricket New South Wales (CNSW)between
1996 and 2006. In his role, Patterson was involved in the development
of over twenty Australian International Players in the likes of Michael
Clarke, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Steve Smith, David Warner, Phillip
Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Phil Jaques, Ed Cowan and Stephen O’Keefe
and Jason Gallian, Tim Ambrose and Sam Robson from England who
played for the English team later.

A Level 3 Coach from Australia and Member of the Cricket Australia (CA)
Education and Training Committee (2006-2011), Patterson held many
important positions in Australian Cricket before moving permanently
to Canada in 2011. Patterson was the High-Performance Coaching
Administrator for a decade with Cricket New South Wales, where he was
responsible for designing and implementing the Emerging Blues programs
for the Best Elite Junior Cricketers aged 12-23 across NSW. Between
1998 and 2005, Patterson was the Head Coach at the NSW Institute of
Sport, the Australian Under 17 Coach from 2003 – 2004 and Assistant
Australian Coach for the Under 19 players Coach from 2002- 2003. A
veteran cricket coach, strategist, planner and administrator, Patterson
organized and led international tours to New Zealand (20030and India (
2005), recruited and managed a team of over 20 part-time coaches and
medical/sports science staff.

Coaching is challenging but indeed a rewarding job,” begins Patterson.
“Every player is unique. Every player develops at different rates. Good
coaches are aware of this. When it is not happening as quickly as a player
or the coach would like, it is important to keep encouraging the player to
be patient and stay with the process”, states Patterson.
With top-performing players, the formula of success is different.” The
best players remove the ceiling above their abilities. The Coach then
works collaboratively with them to set and work towards achieving their

At the opposite end of the high performers are the tail-enders, whose
very existence is yet another reason why Cricket is the greatest sport
in the world. They bring different challenges and dynamics
to the team.” The only lasting thing in player improvement is
self-motivation. I always encourage the lower order to work
on their batting and ensure that they get the opportunity at
practice to work on their batting,” shares Patterson.
“Regardless of the coaching and development schemes, some
players have exceptional natural talent. For these truly gifted
ones, I give them the freedom to express themselves”, he

Coach Patterson has always tried to explore and delve into his
players’ minds.” Cricket is a skill-based game; as a Coach, I have
to focus on that. It consists of many things, like supervising the
player’s diet regime, gym training, and skill training. The best
players regularly work on their mental aspects, follow a good
routine, master controlled breathing and introspection, study
every ball, stay in the moment, practice self-belief, and stay

Patterson recommends visual imagery as a coping strategy
to reduce anxiety and reinforce high performance in players.
Players set a goal and create a visual image of what they
want. Patterson facilitates visual imagery by setting up match
scenarios, like bowling and batting against yorkers in the death
overs. Het helps the players see executing the desired skill, then
handholds them in their attempt to accomplish it.

Player management, too, is an important part of coaching,
says Patterson. The key to attaining this is to treat every player
as an individual. “We are all wired differently. As a Coach, I need to
know what makes each player tick and get to know them as a person. I
structure practice to actively involve every player at all times, working
on specific things most relevant to their game or the team at that time.”
A player can excel by realizing that they can achieve more by being a
part of the team and utilizing the players around them.

Another important factor in creating a winning team is the Captain-
Coach relationship. A healthy communication system between the
coach, Captain and the team opens channels of possibilities.
In 2012, when Paterson started as a High-Performance Manager with
Cricket Canada, his experience exceeded expectations. “Canadians
are wonderful and welcoming. The Canadian and Australian cultures
are similar in many ways, so adapting to Canadian life has been
relatively easy,” smiles Patterson.

“Players here in Canada are the same as in Australia. They love the
game and want you as a coach to help them achieve their goals.
However, as a cricketing nation, Canada has three tremendous
uncontrollable challenges to overcome. Firstly, the climate. We can
only be outdoors for six months of the year. Secondly, the geography
of Canada. Being the 2nd largest country in the world means the cost
and logistics of bringing the best players together on a regular basis
are prohibitive. Thirdly, we are relatively isolated in cricket terms.
The West Indies is the nearest full nation member, whereas most
other Associate countries benefit from being close to a full member
nation(s). Having multiple formats, Test cricket, 50 over, and now
T20 and T10 cricket, exposes our sport to a wider global audience
and provides more commercial and broadcast opportunities. Just as
importantly, It opens up more playing opportunities for a wider range
of players of all ages and skill levels.”

“There are tremendous opportunities upcoming for Canadian cricket,
cricket, and the recent victory in the Desert Cup T20I Series is very
encouraging,” states Patterson. Expanding the T20 World Cup
allows participation in 2024 and beyond. The commencement of
Major League Cricket in the USA could provide more opportunities.
As Cricket is the No 1 sport in Australia, the players in Australia are
more fortunate in the volume and quality of the facilities, programs
and playing opportunities available to them.”

Born in Sydney, Australia, Cricket has been Patterson’s first love.
Besides his family, cricketing legends like Alan Campbell and Ross
Turner at Cricket NSW contributed significantly to his growth.
“I love Cricket and love helping people. Being a qualified Physical
Education teacher and Cricket Australia Level 3 coach, allowed me
to combine my passions. I still would love to be involved when I go
to cricket grounds and look at coaches playing the trade, the GTPL,
or IPL.

Cricket is my full-time profession and has been so for the past 30 years.
“This has been my dream, and I shall follow it all through my life,”
concludes a grateful David Patterson.

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