Just a month after the launch of her new cricket coaching company, ‘Rae Cricket Coaching', founder and cricketer, Olivia Rae who has 76 caps for the Scottish Cricket Team described the venture as ‘incredible so far'.
Rae had ‘always wanted to be a coach, to help people progress and facilitate change in people in a positive way.' Having played at the highest level, Olivia has also suffered various setbacks throughout her career and ‘felt she had a real opportunity to use the experience she had to help prepare others for the demands of the game.' She, therefore, decided to start Rae Cricket Coaching.
Unsurprisingly, few aspiring cricketers would contemplate the negative side of being an elite sportsperson. But with victories and success, come setbacks and disappointment and this was something Rae Cricket Coaching aimed to prepare cricketers to deal with.
As a cricketer herself, she quickly realised that ‘equal attention must be given by coaches to the mental preparation of players, as well as the physical preparation.' By putting ‘personal development' at the forefront of the company's coaching style, Rae hopes to produce a generation of players who can recognise the importance of physical and mental wellbeing.
Asked what methods of coaching Rae Coaching Cricket delivers, Olivia, described the multi-method approach taken to most sessions, which include ‘video analysis, workshops, game-based learning, player-led sessions, fixed practice and variable practice'. Such methods correlate with her motto ‘Refine Adapt Excel' which ‘encompasses a growth mindset approach to learning.'
The company is currently based in London and Olivia is the current Berkshire U17 County Girls Head coach and Middlesex County U11 Girls coach.
She has a strategy of balancing the importance of player mentality as well as the physical literacy of the player and it is this that sets Rae Cricket Coaching apart from its competitors. Olivia explains that her coaches ensure a more individualised approach to players, ‘engaging in conversations with [them], getting to know the individual, what works for them and how they learn'. She continues by saying that ‘players are provided with diaries as an opportunity to write down what they've learned in a session but also how they feel.'
A strength and conditioning coach and video analyst work with the players to gain a deeper understanding of the player, ‘how they move, what areas they are strong at and which areas they need to develop'.
As well as running her own business, Rae has her own sporting commitments, playing cricket for Middlesex. She notes that ‘maintaining her own mental wellbeing and keeping physically strong is key' in order to perform well, but that it doesn't come without some difficulties. Achieving a healthy balance is hard, with Rae admitting that she ‘would love to able to have more time to play and train but the reality is that we are not professional at county level yet'.
After just a week of the company's launch, Rae was invited to India, where she delivered a ten-day camp and ran her first workshops on mental preparation. She hopes this success will continue and that ‘the company's approach will play a massive part in the development of her cricketers playing at the highest level'. These players will be ‘mentally resilient, happy in their own skin and stand as role models for future generations'.
Rae Cricket Coaching has already seen great success in its first month in business, and it is clear that with Rae's strong vision, its success will continue, with future players reaping the benefits of the company's innovative coaching style. Importantly, Rae notes that this approach is ‘not just useful for cricketers but for other sportspersons too'.
We could all learn from Rae Cricketing Coaching which understands how essential continuing the conversation about mental health is. Rae encourages others to ‘seek support from family, friends and teammates and to continue talking about how they're feeling'. For more information on Rae Cricket Coaching, visit their website at www.raecricketcoaching.co.uk/
GiveMeSport Women’s Elizabeth Conway spoke to Olivia Rae.News Now - Sport News