Mr. Ashwath Aiyappa, a professional cricketer, comes to The Peepal Grove School, an alternative residential school in india, to coach our boys cricket. He takes up the responsibility of igniting the spark of talent within them and bringing them as close to playing like professionals as possible. After having interviewed the captain of the school team, we found that Ashwath not only trained the boys physically, but psychologically as well. He acted as a counselor for them and helped them with more than just cricket.
The team felt much at ease with him as a coach and this could be attributed to two things – his professionalism and his friendly nature. Of course, he kept his relations with the team even off-field, having his meals with the boys, being ‘one of them’ and this helped them see Ashwath as more than just a coach – a friend.
Instead of training the team as a whole, he trained each one individually, according to their personal strengths and weaknesses. In fact, since there were only four batsmen in the school, he helped improve their batting skills such that even four could be enough.
The results of his training were seen in some recent cricket matches – two against school staff and one against Rishi Valley, another alternative residential school in india. Though the team did not emerge victorious in the matches, they had made the opponents work harder than usual. Ashwath was proud of his team with one of the batsmen scoring a half-century for the first time in his life. He stated that though they lost, they lost with pride.
The Peepal Grove School is an alternative residential school in India, where students live in tune with nature and are provided spaces and opportunities to express themselves individually while learning to live in a community.