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“When looking for a course to develop the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare team, we wanted a course that would allow the team to reflect on the way we speak to players. The ILM Coaching and Mentoring Level 5 delivered to us by Footdown allowed us to reflect as a team and talk about the way we practice. It gave us a clear understanding of coaching and mentoring and delivered some great ideas for the future. Making meetings constructive and getting the best out of the people we work with is fundamental to the success of the PCA’s programme.” 
 

Ian Thomas, National Personal Development and Welfare Manager, PCA  

Gloucestershire Cricket Ground

 Helping create sustainable change within the Professional Cricketers Association 

Background 

 
The Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) has acted to safeguard the rights of present, past and future first class cricketers since 1967. A major part of this task is carried out by the personal development coaches who are responsible for the lifestyle, personal development and welfare of its members. In carrying out this role, the team needs to effectively interact and influence cricketers at different stages of their professional career using a coaching style of communication and leadership. 
 
The PCA underwent an internal restructuring in 2012 resulting in the creation of a personal development team. Led by Ian Thomas, the team has differing levels of experience, skill and knowledge: some members are very experienced lifestyle coaches having transferred from a very similar role at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Others are new to personal development coaching but have considerable potential in the area. 
 

How Footdown Helped the PCA Enact Sustainable Change 

 
Footdown designed and delivered an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) accredited coaching course linked to the PCA’s goals and requirements. 
 
The coaching course was a highly participative programme where participants were encouraged to bring real professional issues to the table. The participants were challenged to put the theory into practice in an ‘applied learning’ environment. The aim was to ensure that the team is suitably equipped and motivated to help deliver improved performance and support in a professional and empowering manner. 
 
Lasting approximately eight months in total, including six days of group classroom learning, successful completion of the course provided participants with an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring. 
 

Outcome 

 
As Ian Thomas' comment demonstrates, the specially crafted course gave participants the skills and confidence necessary to more effectively interact and deliver positive sustainable change by better engaging and developing cricketers, thus allowing the cricketers to perform to their potential, on and off the field. Feedback amongst Personal Development Managers has been excellent and there is a consensus that the insights are already making a positive difference in the way they operate.