Performance development approaches in cricket are often aimed at enhancing the
individual performance of cricketers. The aim of my study was to move from an
individualistic utilisation of resources to an ecological and more holistic approach to
performance development, by working with and educating coaches as central figures in
sport, thereby becoming an extension of the work that sport psychologists do. This was
attained by creating a performance development experience for cricket coaches through
participation in a MAC program, which was mainly facilitated through experiential learning.
The extent to which experiential learning occurred was established through analyzing
semi-structured interviews with coaches using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis
Eighteen individual in depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Level III
male Cricket South Africa (CSA) coaches and analysed using IPA.
The major findings were:
Firstly, coaches’ experienced the MAC program as flexible, accessible and a
developmental psychological tool, which increased their knowledge of sport psychology.
Coaches enjoyed the MAC program, and found the experiential learning and
accompanying manual valuable.
Secondly, coaches learned through the performance enhancing MAC program about the
nature of mindfulness, acceptance and commitment, as well as the obstacles to being
mindful, acceptant and committed.
Thirdly, what the coaches experienced about mindfulness, acceptance and commitment
became manifest in three “domains”, namely the self as a person, coaching and a better
understanding of the game of cricket.
Fourthly, coaches conveyed their experiential learning to their cricketers by means of
educational methods (theoretical versus experiential learning), educational styles (formal
versus informal styles) and educational formats (groups versus one-on-one).