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Meet Sam Cook – Catch up with the Little Chef

By 14 September 2021No Comments
Meet Sam Cook – Catch up with the Little Chef

How did you get involved in cricket initially?

A few mates of mine played at the local football club and didn’t have anything to do over summer, so started a team at the cricket club right next door. One of my friends said I should come down, so I gave it a crack. It was around the time of the 2005 Ashes when cricket was becoming really popular and as soon as I started playing I just loved it.

Why did you enjoy cricket so much? What makes it so special?

I think a lot of it early on was obviously playing with mates and in that way I think it’s quite a unique environment. On the football pitch you don’t have as much time to get to know your teammates as you do in cricket, when you are on the bench, waiting to bat, for example. As the games are longer you get more time to get to know people better. You spend more quality time with mates and then the social element grows even stronger as you go into men’s teams.

Why do you think club cricket is so important?

The biggest thing for me was being able to play men’s cricket and being exposed to such a high level of cricket at an early age, which you don’t have in other sports. I was playing adult cricket from the age of around 11 or 12 and playing grown men, learning my trade at this young age. A lot of my skills and the things I rely on now are down to playing men’s cricket at such an impressionable age – getting these basic skills right at this early stage makes sure they really last.

What made you want to be a part of Club Cricket Academy?

I think it’s really exciting as it gives kids or people of whatever age really, access to high level coaching, which again is quite uncommon in other sports. The football coaching market for example can be quite saturated, whereas if you look at the calibre of coaches available at the academy, you are going to be learning from people who have the played at top club level, top county level and even internationally. You have quite a unique environment of learning from people at the highest level that you just don’t get elsewhere.

What do you enjoy most about coaching?

I like the project aspect of taking someone with a set of skills at whatever level and seeing the progression over a period of time. Cricket isn’t something you can do overnight. Of course, you can put suggestions in place, but in my opinion it’s the repetition and drills that really improve your game. I also really like teaching the tactical element. There are lots of different techniques and styles of cricket, but I like to focus on the game plan and the tactical aspect of the game.

How does Club Cricket Academy benefit the local community?

Having that access to professional coaches and cricketers. The more exposure you have to high level coaching and training will only stand you in good stead. Whether you are in the Second Team of club cricket training with the First or the Second Team at Essex training with the First, you are only going to get better.

What advice would you give to any young aspiring cricketers?

Firstly make sure you are enjoying it, but also to always test yourself and try to see what level you can get to – look to improve, don’t stagnate.

What would you say to encourage people to get involved in club cricket?

Doesn’t matter what age you are, you can still take your game forward. It doesn’t matter if you are a 15 year old making your way in the First Team or a 45 year old playing in the Fifth Team, if you love cricket and you enjoy playing, get yourself down and see how you can improve. The array of coaches can help you whatever your limitations. Put yourself out there and you will only get better.

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