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Darren Berry on Elite Coaching

17 July 2014

Darren Berry

A champion team will always beat a team of champions, was just one of coach Darren Berry's messages at a recent Elite Coaching Seminar, hosted by the the Office for Recreation and Sport (ORS).

The seminar was held in the luxurious William Magarey Room, in the newly refurbished Adelaide Oval, overlooking the city skyline.

Not only was the view spectacular, but so to was the passion, knowledge, wit and seriousness presented by guest speaker Darren Berry, SA Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers Head Coach.

Speaking for nearly two hours, Berry - with the assistance of emcee Mark Soderstrom - had the audience of over 250 people enthralled with his coaching philosophies, famous cricket yarns and advice for all the current and budding coaches.

The former first-class wicketkeeper spoke about his coaching mantra regarding elite sport and elite athletes, with particular emphasis on the SA Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers:

"Respect the past but create your own pathway."
"You need to take your opportunities."
"Always strive to be a top three side, challenging for the top spot."

The Redbacks have been agonisingly close to reaching the Holy Grail of State Cricket, the Sheffield Shield, for the past two seasons, missing out by one wicket in consecutive years.

As a past winner of the Pura Cup in 2003/04 as captain of the Victorian Bushrangers, Berry would love nothing more than to lead his adopted state to the 2014/15 Sheffield Shield title, last won by South Australia back in 1995/96.

Berry wants his current squad to be recognised and respected as a team first, and enjoy team success rather than individual accolades, which would follow if individuals always put the team first.

"Respect the Redbacks" is an idealism Berry always refers back to, and is the cornerstone of six pillars he has developed to make the Redbacks and Strikers into consistent winners:

1. meticulously plan
2. thoroughly prepare
3. game awareness – what does the team need right now
4. look after your mates, both on and off the field
5. be respected at all times
6. commit 100% to the game plan.

He emphasised it is important for any coach at any level to be passionate about coaching.

"It’s not about you; it’s about the people you coach," Berry said.

For further information regarding the State Coaching & Officiating Centre call 08 7424 7625 or email orscoachingandofficiating@sa.gov.au.