The ACA set to launch new phase of player wellbeing & education program

29 Mar 2019

Whipper Article

The highly-regarded ACA player wellbeing program is due for relaunch in the coming months as the finishing touches are put on a new framework.

Focussing on the three stages of a player’s career (early, mid and late), the wellbeing and education structure will emphasise a tailored approach based on the needs of each individual.

The ACA’s National Manager Player Development and Wellbeing, Justine Whipper has been pleased by the ‘whole of sport’ approach to the formation of this program.

“Wellbeing is not one person’s responsibility but a whole of system responsibility,” Whipper said.

“The collaboration from the CA (Cricket Australia) and State-based psychologists has been key to developing a whole-of-sport approach.”

According to Whipper, the spotlight and expectations placed on elite sportspeople was a factor when developing the program.

“In elite sport the highs can be really high and the lows can be really low.”

“So it is really important that players have a great sense of self-awareness.

“By understanding themselves better they are able to know what impacts their wellbeing and develop coping strategies.”

Whipper said the player-lifecycle approach means that the focus can be on providing a player the most relevant skills that align to the stage of their career.

“What a new player needs compared to a ten-year player is quite different, so we need to provide the tools that best suit the individual.

“So, for example, a young player needs to have a great sense of self as they start-out on their professional journey, and what works for them.

“And as research has shown, if professional cricketers can maintain connection to their networks outside the game, it will ultimately contribute to maintaining perspective and developing resilience.

“These are factors that have been shown to contribute to sustained elite performance.”

Whipper said that the Player Development Manager conference held in Melbourne earlier in the month provided further opportunity to understand the implementation of the new framework.

“Cricket has been really progressive in terms of the way it has utilised internal and external experts in player wellbeing.

“What we have is a specialised model that we think gives our players the best support needed at all stages of their career.”

“Ideally it is about giving a player the tools to be able to thrive in their environment.”

Due for release in June 2019, the final stage of development will involve the formation of material to support the roll-out during the players pre-season of 2019/20.