Tom Moody and Trevor Penney are gradually emerging the jodi no 1 in coaching. They worked wonders with Sri Lanka, pushing them as far as to the World Cup final in 2007. They have made their mark in the Indian Premier League as well, making Mohali one of the more formidable teams. HT caught up with Penney, Moody's assistant, to look at their modus operandi and find the reason behind their success.
What makes Moody and you click as a team?
First, we think very similarly in terms of coaching and, second, we get along really well as friends. That we think on similar lines is of great value. We know all the time what the other person is doing, what he expects of me and vice versa. And then our association goes back a long way. We first played together for Warwickshire in 1990. And when he moved as head coach to Sri Lanka three years back, I joined him as assistant. And it's been going pretty good since then.
Could you throw some light on Moody's strengths as a coach?
His clear thinking and ability to talk straight to people are his most important attributes. He doesn't leave any grey areas in his communication. He is very honest in his opinions and players know where exactly they stand with him. His man management skills, his record as member of two World Cup winning squads and his knowledge stands him good stead as a coach.
Could you elaborate on the coaching philosophy you share?
Getting the best out of an individual and the team is at the root of our philosophy. We always try and see the players finish off everything with a feeling that they could have done better. We just love to see people improve and perform. All the theories, techniques, computers and other stuff are fine, but I would say the passion to see the players improve is at the top of our manual.
What's your method of bringing out the best in a player?
The first step is to know players inside out and work on building mutual trust and confidence. And once players start feeling that you are not there to get better as a coach, but are more interested in helping them improve, they would start responding.
If that trust and confidence is missing and a few players aren't happy with the way things are going, it's akin to cancer in the team, which will spread like fire. The trust is really important and that would come when you really live and die with players.
What else other than building trust and confidence?
We do all other stuff that everyone in modern cricket would be doing, like computers, various coaching theories, working on techniques and developing strategies.
All this is required and everything has to be blended to get results, but then all this could actually help when players have your trust.