Switch to coaching
A former first-class cricketer has given up his day job to return to the sport he loves – by becoming a coach.
Chris Dale, 53, is a former Kent and Gloucestershire spinner, who made 11 First Class and four Grade A appearances, taking nine wickets.
His county career spanned 1984-1986 with his three Kent appearances coming in 86, against India, Surrey and Nottinghamshire.
He has been playing cricket for almost 40 years. As well as his county experience, he has represented Kent Schools and the Kent League.
For 25 years he was a player, and some of the time captain, at St Lawrence & Highland Court, one of the oldest clubs in Kent.
His time in the game has seen him play in Australia and he has also qualified as a Kent League panel umpire.
Dale says that coaching was always on his agenda and now he can devote his time to the cricketers of the future, with his classes based in four local schools and at Canterbury CC’s Polo Farm.
He said: “I have always wanted to coach and now the time is right for me to concentrate solely on this rather than part-time when work allowed.
“I have a wealth of playing experience which will enable me to share what I have learned with the young cricketers today.
“Before coaching, my work has been primarily in sales and in the main selling machinery and equipment to golf clubs and sports clubs, so I have always been able to attach to sport in one way or another.” Dale says his aim is to use his wealth of experience to help youngsters not only how to improve their technique but also their decision-making.
He added: “I will be getting them to think on their feet so they can make the right calls when they are out there in the middle. Technique is important but knowing your own capabilities is arguably more important.
“The next important thing is being able to shut out distractions and concentrate on making the right decisions.”
He has some advice for would-be cricketers who want to progress in the game.
He said: “Develop a sound technique, learn your strengths and weaknesses, practise them hard, know how and when to use them in each format and different circumstance within each game.
“The modern game requires our cricketers to be athletes, to be inventive and instinctive, even creative but still we have to have a sound and solid base to work from. We have to have good basic skills in order to enjoy the more extravagant ones.”
Dale’s classes at Canterbury CC involve private one-to-one coaching and he will also be running May half- term and summer holiday camps at the same venue during July and August.
To find out more about Chris Dale’s classes, call 07936 521684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Kent and Gloucestershire spinner Chris Dale coaching Matiss Siyambalapitiya at Polo Farm