Fields headlines CA's next coaching crop

Ex-Aussie skipper among 21 coaches taking part in week-long High-Performance Program in Brisbane

Adam Burnett

30 May 2019, 06:56 AM AEST

Fields headlines Aussie coaching program

Former Australia captain Jodie Fields has joined 20 other promising coaches from around the country to participate in Cricket Australia's High-Performance Coaching program in Brisbane.

Fields, who has been accumulating a variety of coaching experiences in the past few years – most recently assisting CA's female National Performance Squad (NPS) – took part in the week-long program which included seminars from experts from both within and beyond the cricket sphere.

Throughout the seven days, participants selected from 90 applicants attended lectures and engaged in elite training sessions, hearing from and interacting with seasoned coaches as well as current players such as Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes, Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Marsh.

"It's been a big week – seven days up here at the National Cricket Centre, but I'm really grateful for the experience and the learning opportunities for something I'm very passionate about," Fields told cricket.com.au.

"There's been a number of great people here – speakers and people to learn off – so I've really enjoyed the experience.

"Coaching is very different to playing – I obviously had a great experience with that over a 20-year period.

"What I'm learning from that is you have to be authentic, be yourself and take that into your coaching."

Fields in the middle of things during her international career // Getty
Fields in the middle of things during her international career // Getty

A former wicketkeeper-batter, Fields was challenged to lead a wicketkeeping and fielding session during the coaching course, and was able to tap into the lessons she had picked up during stints working with CA Pathways squads as well as with the female NPS, where she linked up with former Australia teammate and now CA high performance coach Leah Poulton to put some of the country's brightest young talents through their paces.

"My passion is 'keeping and fielding, that's one area and strength I've brought to the National Performance Program with the females," the 34-year-old said.

"It's been nice to have six sessions to work with the (NPS) 'keepers, they're four great up-and-coming players, so I've just really appreciated the opportunity to be involved and give back.

"I hope they've learned something, I know I definitely have as a coach, and I've walked away thinking about things I want to improve on."

Fields was one of five women taking part in this year's High-Performance Coaching program while current Tasmania pair Clive Rose and Alex Pyecroft were among the men, alongside former Australia off-spinner Dan Cullen.

Hurricanes spinner Clive Rose undertook this year's coach course // Getty
Hurricanes spinner Clive Rose undertook this year's coach course // Getty

"It's been well led by Cricket Australia, with (elite coaching manager) Darren Holder and his team," Fields said.

"A big focus has been on just being present and in the moment, and taking each day as it comes.

"Often you get the learnings during informal conversations … everyone's on their own coaching journey, and at different points, there's people here coaching right up to high performance, and I'm looking forward to seeing where they all end up."

With the exposure her involvement in coaching has offered, Fields, who played her final WNCL game in 2016, also noted the significant strides in the women's game in recent years.

"It's changed so much even since I played," she added. "Being around the NPS program and the Australia A team that is preparing to go to England, and the Australian women going to the Ashes, the game is just booming.

"The professionalism has increased a lot, and salaries and conditions have really helped those players improve.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how the Ashes goes, and hopefully it's an Australian win."

For the 21 participants, the High-Performance program extends across the next 12 months and covers subjects such as talent management, game strategies and scenarios and teaching philosophies.

High-Performance Coaching Program participants 2019: James Allenby; Steven Broberg; Matthew Clark; Peter Clarke; Dan Cullen; Jono Dean; Jodie Fields; Andy Gower; Lisa Griffith; Becky Grundy; Ash Holznagel; Kris Kennedy; Luke Knight; Tim McMahon; Ciara Metcalfe; Taylah Purton; Alex Pyecroft; Clive Rose; Brian Shields; Udara Weerasinghe Silva; Darius Wyatt