Level III coach: Guyanese Ryan Hercules achieves lifelong goal
By Akeem Greene in Trinidad
In the world of cricket, Level III coaching status is essentially the pinnacle of a team’s head tactician.
Though some coaches may opt for additional high-performance programmes, Level III is usually the ticket to the big leagues, but accomplishing the latter, experience and a winning formula become vital.
The next man on that mission is Guyanese Ryan Hercules, who recently scored exceptionally high marks in his Level III coaching programme conducted by Cricket West Indies over a one-year period.
Hercules, who is the Assistant Coach for the Guyana Harpy Eagles, and currently performing the same role in the Caribbean Premier League for the Guyana Amazon Warriors, was overjoyed at accomplishing a goal that became his ultimate priority after completing his Level II in 2018.
But his passion for coaching dates back to his playing days since he always had an instinctive ability to help others by passing on knowledge.
“It’s a good feeling,” Hercules said about his Level III certification.
“We had loads of planning, loads of execution. We went to Antigua for two weeks to do some on-field work and it is a good feeling to accomplish something like that from CWI”, he stated on the sidelines of a recent training session with the Amazon Warriors.
The proof is in the pudding as the man whose roots in cricket grew from the early days of playing in Parika-Salem to the senior national team, is already adapting the newfound knowledge to his training routine and feels he is more effective and efficient.
“For me, the main thing is my philosophy as an individual, as a coach, how I want players to look at me, how I go about dealing with sessions, preparation, and planning. The main takeaway from me is how I get players to achieve what I put out to them”, he further commented.
While his immediate mission is playing an integral role in the success of the Amazon Warriors, Hercules has a long-term endeavours to develop cricket in his native Essequibo.
It is part and parcel of his outlook, that inculcating the right mindset and techniques at the junior level is what leads to consistency at the senior level.
“I would love to still do work with the juniors, but it is a process because if we have coaching of the junior players and they don’t get the right amount of work they need, you have to do it all the way up there at the senior level. So, there is a balance to getting it done with the juniors and the seniors,” he explained.
The lanky all-rounder, who played for Guyana from 2003-2007 and then had stints in England and Australia, has also coached the Guyana Under-15 and senior Women’s teams at Regional tournaments, and from a club level, is attached with the Guyana Police Force team.
Having to balance his commitments with coaching during the pandemic, and still conduct the course, which was done virtually in most parts, Hercules thanked his wife for the immense support.
He further highlighted that the current West Indies Assistant Coach and Head for Amazon Warriors, Rayon Griffith, was the man to assist him from his start at the Foundation courses and has been a constant reservoir of advice.
The High-Performance programme has been designed by CWI Coach Development Manager, Chris Brabazon, in partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI).
It provides a number of the region’s best coaches with opportunities to further learn and develop contemporary coaching philosophies and techniques that will allow them to thrive in the high-performance environment of the West Indies Cricket Pathway.
Among the coaches who pursued this highest level of accreditation were former West Indies batting great Shivnarine Chanderpaul; former West Indies international players: Rayad Emrit, Nikita Miller, Ryan Austin, and Garey Mathurin; as well as Test batsman and current Guyana Jaguars player Vishaul Singh, and former national player Mark Harper.