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ECB CCED September 2013 onwards - Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is there no longer a 'generic' level 2 qualification, and why has a distinction been made between coaching Children and Young people/Adults?

From September, 2013 coaches will access qualifications by following a children’s coaching pathway or young people and adult coaching pathway. There is a big distinction between how children learn and how adolescents and adults learn. In order to help all players take the most from coaching sessions, it is vital for the game to recognise how to create coaching sessions, which are entirely centred around the needs of players and maximise learning and enjoyment. To help coaches have the best chance to learn the skills they need to do this, the new CCED pathway will focus a coaches attention on the types of player they work with, this means the new qualifications will grow all coaches understanding of how to create and run coaching sessions which are more focussed than ever on their own players.

The ECB Player Development Model (PDM) highlights 27 different playing environments within England and Wales; via an analysis of the ECB Coach Development Model (CDM) it became apparent that we were expecting a cricket coach qualified via the ECB Coach Award (L2/ UKCC2) qualification to work across 15 of these different playing environments (from beginners in Primary School to those young players performing in County age group cricket). As such, we were asking those cricket coaches with the least amount of formal coach education (4 days) to meet the varying needs (Technical, Tactical, Physical, Mental and Lifestyle) of players across the broadest range of different participant environments. Reducing this significant challenge and encouraging coaches to develop expertise when working with specific participation groups has been at the forefront of this evolution.

Additionally it is worth noting that:

  • Over 50% of our participants in the game are children under the age of thirteen
  • Over 50% of ECB Coaches Association members and coaches surveyed (n2636) are working with players in the ‘EARLY’ stage of player development
  • Early experiences of sport have been shown to greatly influence an individual’s future involvement and engagement (scUK, Coaching Children Curriculum)
  • The development of fundamental movement skills early in childhood has a significant effect in the level and quality of physical competence attained in maturity (scUK, Coaching Children Curriculum)
  • Over 80% of sports coaches currently working within the UK are coaching children (scUK, Coaching Children Curriculum)

It is clear that early experiences within cricket not only shape future participation within the game and sport generally, but they can significantly influence the quality of technical, tactical, physical, mental and social competence and performance that is attained in later stages of a players development; it is therefore obvious that cricket coaches working with children have a vital role to play in laying these foundations for future involvement and performance in our sport. Existing evidence demonstrates that the current and historical status-quo in sports coaching across the UK when working with children, is one all too often characterised by a tendency to focus on the adult format of the game, early specialisation in one sport in pursuit of excellence and the occasional prioritisation of short-term success and winning over the long-term development of young players. That said, coaches working with children do need to be aware of the consensus of research in relation to child and participant development that continually highlights the ages between 4-11 years of age as a significant period for the development of fundamental movement and motor skills that are the foundations of athletic performance in sport.

We have set out to raise the status, expertise and importance of children’s cricket coaches/ coaching with this evolution of our CCED pathway. Over half of our playing population are children and we have always offered a pathway to our ‘better’ coaches, which equip them with the skills necessary to work with performance level/ older players. Therefore, we have probably lost some of our better children’s coaches to other environments and implied that ‘better’ coaches work with ‘better’ players. This evolved pathway sets out to allow all players the opportunity to access quality coaches and open up a development pathway for coaches who aspire to remain in the children’s coaching environment.

Likewise the prioritisation of the development of the expertise, knowledge and understanding of coaches working with adolescent (young players) and adult cricketers, who are seeking to refine and enhance an already established game built on solid foundations (technical, tactical, physical, mental and lifestyle), is an equally driver for this evolution. The needs of cricketers in the ‘Enhanced’ stage of player development (identified via ECB PDM) are very different to those at the initial stages of this process (‘Early’ and ‘Basic’ stages of the PDM), as such the challenge posed to coaches working with these players is entirely different to that faced when working with children/ players who are starting to learn and develop their game.

Ultimately, each element of the new ECB CCED structure will focus on developing players’ understanding of how to play the game. Placing this at the heart of the coaching process will allow each course to focus on coaches’ learning about coaching. Utilising the ECB PDM, coaches will build an understanding of how to support player-development as players grow, progress and learn in a way which is relevant and engaging. Most importantly, player’s needs will be the central to focus of what coaches learn about. The new pathway distinguishes between different participant domains. Put simply, the needs of child participants, young players and adult players are different, as are the needs of performance players and elite players.

Our work and extensive evidence shows that children, young people and adults demonstrate significantly differing needs in relation to:

  • How they learn
  • Their Technical, Tactical, Physical, Mental and Lifestyle development and maturation
  • Social and emotional development
  • How they respond and react to different coaching behaviours (demonstrations, instructions, feedback, etc.) and different types of practices (repeat, random and games-based) when acquiring, learning, developing and refining skills

Therefore, we recognise that coaches require different skills to meet the specific needs of players in these different domains; our coach education qualifications, courses and resources will reflect this.

Why is there a ‘new’ HOW 2 coaching process?

Building on the ‘How 2’ skills which currently prevail in the CCED programmes, we sought to undertake extensive research to understand whether this process was optimal for coaches. As a result of this process the new CCED structure will address How 2 in light of the needs of the players and the type of activity a coach is running. By linking the ‘How 2’ more closely to that what to, the experience for coaches should be more representative of what they will do in their coaching away from a course.

‘The participants indicated that course concepts related to coaching pedagogy, ‘how to’ coach were difficult to implement in practice. Whilst they recognised the value of the tools presented in theory, they indicated that they did not represent how they coached in reality’ (ECB Coach Award/ UKCC2, ECB CCED research finding Sept 2011)

Given an awareness of this research finding it is also worth noting the reality that there is no ‘gold standard’ or one universally accepted coaching process or way to coach. As such, whilst the ‘coaching Bugs’ and existing coaching process have served a purpose and raised the awareness of coaching behaviour and ‘HOW 2’ coach skills, they do not represent the ‘only way’ to coach. Indeed, given the complexity of coaching and any coaching process one must appreciate that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of coaching behaviour (whilst characterised by a number of obvious behaviours that appear to define the activity as ‘coaching’); in reality and in practice, coaching behaviour actually differs from coach to coach, session to session, with different players at different stages of development and within different practice activities (repeat, random or games-based).

Therefore, we are now in a position to build on the existing ECB CCED pathway and further develop coaches’ ability to deliver quality coaching sessions; thus, the coaching bugs will be superseded by the ‘Coach’s Toolbox’ and ‘Coaching Tools’ concepts. Coaches on course will witness Tutors modelling different types of coaching behaviours within different practice scenarios (repeat, random and games based). They will develop an understanding of how to link session outcomes, to the type of practice they use with their own behaviour and coaching skills. To support this evolution both coaches and tutors will be supported by practical examples, video footage, visuals and prompts to support their understanding and application of these ‘Coaching Tools’. As a result the ‘Coaching Tools’ (spilt into planning tools and coaching behaviours) are:

  • Developed and defined based on the needs of cricket coaches and players
  • Directly linked to players (and different participant domains) and place the players/ cricketers at the heart of the coaching process
  • Directly link appropriate coaching behaviour to the different types of practice that a coach may use
  • Less prescriptive and caters for the existing experience, style and delivery of individual coaches

How will HOWZAT! be used on course from September 2013 onwards? Is there an over-reliance on HOWZAT! as a delivery tool for tutors?

HOWZAT! has been designed to complement the high quality skills of our existing CCED tutor workforce. It has been developed and positioned to offer a deeper and more thorough coaching support (and tutor support) resource than has ever been supplied in the past. HOWZAT! will be the central course resource for ECB CCED courses, allowing ECB to directly support its coaches working in the recreational game through the use of multi-media. HOWZAT! considers all angles of player development and compliments a player’s stage of development with relevant technical, tactical, physical and mental practices, information and support. It also provides coaches with good practice examples of how they can assist their players to move smoothly from one stage to another, maintaining interest and therefore motivation for both coach and player alike. Using software means all coaches will be supported by a far larger, interactive, more accessible pool of resources than ever before.

Therefore, from September 2013 onwards both coaches and tutors will supported by the provision of additional ‘good practice’ via the provision of ‘good practice’ models/ resource for technical, tactical, physical and mental elements of the new CCED pathway. The ambition is that HOWZAT! will be used as an integral resource within the new ECB CCED pathway to:

  • Support the modelling of good practice examples
  • Stimulate discussion and debate
  • Enhance the amount of cricket content/ resource provided to coaches (developing coach knowledge and understanding)
  • Provide a world-class informal resource that will support coaches and tutors as they engage in a process of continual life-long coach/ tutor development.

All documentation, objectively and more importantly, philosophically has stated that the opportunity for cricket coaches to cover cricket content and practise coaching cricket underpins the rationale behind every new course. It is vital that all CED stakeholders understand, believe and expect this for us to gather momentum and excitement. However, the coaching courses/ qualifications and supporting resources (HOWZAT!) are designed to help people to learn how to coach cricket, not provide lots of opportunities for aspiring coaches to play cricket!

Why is HOWZAT! being released on the existing ECB Coach Award (L2/ UKCC2) in September 2012?

From September 2012 HOWZAT! will be issued as an on-course (ECB Coach Award, L2/ UKCC2) supporting resource for coaches and tutors. HOWZAT! is being introduced to this course for the following reasons:

  • Maximise the impact of this world-class coaching resource across the community game
  • To provide coaches with additional coaching resource
  • To support coaches with planning for Supported Practice tasks (although an optional resource for coach candidates and not a pre-requisite for the completion of Supported Practice)
  • To support the process of tutor orientation and familiarisation with this resource in preparation for September 2013
  • As potential use by tutors for ‘good practice’ models and practical content on course
  • To test the administration and installation process and experience associated with the implementation of this resource

Have the technical issues around HOWZAT!! been resolved for September 2012?

As indicted by extensive TM feedback supplied as a result of in-field testing and investigation:

  • We have designed a version to run on a Mac, Netbook and as externally stored.
  • The serial number font has been improved.
  • The loading instructions/ process has been improved (with accompanying installation support)

What do the ECB Certificate in Coaching Children and ECB Certificate in Coaching Young People and Adults assessment task and methods look like?- What is the final assessment? What are the realities of assessing 24 (or similar numbers) candidates within the space of 1 3 hr. module? Will coaches need to bring their own players to the assessment module? Etc. etc.

Coaches will be assessed in relation to what coaches need to be able to ‘know, do and understand’ related to the level of their qualification, mapped against the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for coaching set down by the sector skills council, Skills Active. Each coach will be assessed through both applied tasks (supported practice) and home-study tasks (via HOWZAT! and supporting e-learning resources); these tasks will ask coaches to apply concepts from the course via a problem solving framework for example: answering a question or completing tasks. Their understanding of coaching (as demonstrated by an assessment of a practical coaching session) will be assessed by their ability to: 

  • Understand and identify their players needs
  • Establish learning outcomes based on those needs
  • Select appropriate coaching practices to achieve those outcomes
  • Use appropriate coaching behaviour given their chosen practice and outcomes
  • Create a safe, appropriate learning climate for their players which meets the learning outcomes

All of the different assessment queries, scenarios and observations that have been raised will be fully explored and verified during the modular testing process taking place between October and December 2012. Within this testing process we will fully explore and investigate the reality and practicalities of a range of post-module, supported practice and final assessment tasks. These assessment options will be developed and refined prior to the full-course pilot process in February-March 2013, to ensure that all assessment methods, tasks and scenarios are fit for purpose and focused on contributing to a coach’s learning journey throughout the course.

Due to the fact that ECB Coaching Assistant (L1/ UKCC1) is no longer part of the new ECB CCED pathway, we are concerned that this will affect our potential funding income associated with 16-19 year olds?

16 year olds will be able to complete the ECB Young Leaders course or the Coach Support Worker course. 17 year olds can complete the certificates in coaching children or young people and adults. Within the existing coach education pathway if a 17-19 year old wishes to become a qualified ‘coach’ they are required to undertake the ECB Coach Award/ Level 2. These existing commitments are comparable to the expectations outlined via the proposed ECB CCED pathway for September 2013 (in fact the actual duration of the learning programme has been reduced by incorporating the assessment within the 8 module of the qualification). Due to the nature of the National Occupational Standards (NOS), Qualifications and Curriculum Framework (QCF) and United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) qualification requirements, the proposed duration of the ECB coaching qualifications (as outlined in ECB Certificate in Coaching Children and ECB Certificate in Coaching Young People and Adults course detail documents supplied to CBs) is the minimum duration required to be qualified as a ‘coach’. This is the same expectation, duration and commitment required to become a qualified ‘coach’ via the current ECB CCED pathway (ECB Coach Award/ Level 2).

From a funding perspective, funding is not attributable to a specific course (i.e. Coaching Assistant/ L1) but linked to the age of the individual/ coach undertaking the qualification (UKCC and QCF endorsed). Therefore, via the new pathway funding opportunities are available for 17-19 year olds that are undertaking either the ECB Certificate in Coaching Children or ECB Certificate in Coaching Young People and Adults (both the equivalent of Level 2 QCF Certificates); furthermore, the potential funding that is attached to learners completing a QCF Level 2 qualification is potentially higher than that currently associated with QCF Level 1 qualifications. As part of the on-going development and testing of the ECB Certificate in Coaching Children or ECB Certificate in Coaching Young People and Adults, we will continue to work with 1st4Sport and Sport Coach UK (scUK) to explore and review the current minimum age boundaries for registration (currently 17 yrs old) and certification (18 yrs) for our coaching qualifications. Further details will follow as and when appropriate.

Are there any more details in relation to the proposed roll-out timeline and the different phases (development, testing and piloting)?

Key milestones previously communicated:

  • March/ April 2012- ECB Training Manager and County Board 1-to-1 meetings- TMs to co-ordinate most effective local roll-out
  • September 2012- HOWZAT! to become a support resource for ECB Coach Award/ UKCC 2 coaches
  • October 2012- March 2013- ECB CCED pathway- module testing and pilots
  • April 2013 through September 2013- Full Course Support for ECB Tutors & Field-Based Trainers
  • September 2013- New ECB CCED pathway

Each qualification/ course will be subject to a process of development, testing and piloting. At each stage of this process, there will be the opportunity for different [external] individuals to become involved (as identified by ECB CCED), TMs are key to this process throughout:

  • The ‘development’ phase will involve key personnel from ECB CCED team- this process is currently on-going
  • The ‘testing’ phase will provide the opportunity for ECB CCED team to identify appropriate FBTs/ Tutors/ CB staff to engage in feedback in relation to specific elements of the testing process to ensure that the qualifications, courses and resources are refined prior to the full-course ‘pilot’ phase. 16 dates have been identified and planned for this testing phase. These 16 dates include full delivery and testing of the 8 modules of both the ECB Certificate in Coaching Children and ECB Certificate in Coaching Young People and Adults
  • The final ‘pilot’ phase will involve the orientation and support of all FBTs/ Tutors/ appropriate CB staff. At present 4 pilot courses are being planned and organised. 2 full course pilots (ECB Certificate in Coaching Children and ECB Certificate in Coaching Young People and Adults) will take place at suitable geographical venues in both the North and the South. Details of these specific courses, dates, venues will be communicated as and when appropriate via the ECB Training Manager team. Finalised ‘tutor guidance notes’ in relation to the new ECB CCED pathway will not be realised until after the final pilot stage in April 2013. After this final stage of course/ qualification development the tutor or guidance notes and resources will be made available to all tutors to support the orientation and education process.

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