With limited resources (physical and human), the Plan is to establish a basic framework in 2014 for development of talent. The year 2014 is all about establishing structures and developing the skills and knowledge on players, within the confines of the association’s current situation.
The philosophy of the USACA Talent Development Programme has several elements;
– Tournaments have a role to play in the development of talent, but they represent a culminating event, not an overall solution. Despite their best efforts, players cannot learn skills or refine technique over the space of a weekend. Weekly training and competition is a must if talented players are to improve their skills and knowledge at a higher level of competition.
This year, the USACA intends to work closely with the Regions and their nominees that have an interest in and are working with youth cricketers in the USA. The first step in the three-year plan to attempt to arrange regular training sessions (eg. Monday evenings) for a local USACA Development Squad in 2014 at either Under 15 or Under 17 level. Regions, Leagues, Associations and Academies will continue to be encouraged to conduct weekly competitions for Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 cricket in their area. USACA will then provide the pathway to the next stage in the players’ development.
The Regions and local youth cricketing bodies will continue to play their important part in developing pathways for youth. This Plan recommends USACA adding in a component to support this important work to grow participation in a bid to assist in identifying and developing talent. The objective is for USACA to continue to work in unison with local cricketing bodies in the Regions and to complement their good work.
In support of these local competitions, USACA will establish a very basic framework for youth talent development. The framework is described as the ‘US Talented Player Pathway’. The objective of the ‘US Talented Player Pathway’ is to achieve a consistent coaching approach across all areas of the country working on developing a US elite style of playing cricket, primarily focused on the T20 format of the game.
For the Under 15 age groups, participation in the AAU Junior Olympics will be the culminating event. In the Under 17 age group, the ICC Americas will be staging a competition in the middle of the year, which will be the forerunner to international Under 18 duties the following year. At Under 19 level, five players from the US will be selected by the ICC America’s High Performance staff to join players from other nations in representing the America’s Region in the Caribbean in August 2014.
Regional contacts will deliver these programmes which are designed at long term skill development as opposed to participation in tournaments.