One of cricket - and sport's - great archetypes is the aged and taciturn coach, the kind of man who will watch silently for half an hour and then impart, often via a single and devastating sentence, a thought that changes not just how you play the game, but how you see it.
My own was the great Alf Gover, a man I wish I had appreciated more. I thought of Alf when I read this interview with John Jacobs, who has coached golf to Open champions and desperate hackers for sixty years. There is wisdom here that comes only from decades of observation. It doesn't come second-hand, from books or anywhere else.
Jacobs has distilled his philosophy down to one thought: you can learn everything you need to know about a player's swing by watching what the ball does once it's been struck. It's fantastically obvious and wonderfully true, and it applies equally well to cricket. All that matters is that moment when bat meets ball. You could discover how to coach anything by talking to John Jacobs.
NB: It's interesting to contrast the Jacobs interview with this one. It's with Tiger Woods' much-hyped new coach Sean Foley. He quotes Ghandi and Aristotle in one answer. I know who I'd rather have coaching me. Good luck, Tiger...
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