October 16, 2019
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    Future generation: Parents, teachers have a significant role– Aravinda

    September 22, 2019

    Aravinda de Silva is a name synonymous with cricket around the world and when a legend like him speaks everyone has to sit back and listen because what he says is what he has learnt through his own experience. The most pertinent message De Silva made as chief guest at the 41st Observer/Mobitel School Cricketer of the Year awards ceremony at the Colombo Hilton on Friday was the important role parents, teachers and cricket coaches have to play in producing future leaders in cricket.


    “What I would like to advise the parents, teacher and coaches is to think of our future and make sure that we make this younger generation a confident lot of leaders by giving them the courage and strength to face the competitive world out there without any fear. To do that you have to let them learn through their mistakes and give them the opportunity they deserve if they deserve it,” said De Silva.
    “Today I think our youth who are going to be the future of our team needs to be given one thing. All the accolades, trophies matter very much but the reality is we certainly have to provide them with self-confidence. From your childhood your parents, teachers, coaches and everyone has to focus on making that child a confident person. If he is to take on the world today that is what you require,” emphasised De Silva.Citing an example of how self-confidence has helped him in his career De Silva explained: “Thirty years ago I was a very shy boy who couldn’t get on a stage and a soon as I saw a mike I would run away.
    “And there were team mates of mine who would take three wickets and when we ask them to come and bowl the second spell they would say, ‘Aiyya don’t ask me to bowl again because if I take another two wickets I would become man of the match and would have to face the microphone. What we need is to develop these individuals to be leaders of this country and to do that the parents, coaches and teachers have a major role to play. My school principal when he was asked by my coach at 13 years of age whether he could allow me to play in the first eleven team he came to my father and asked, ‘the coach wants him to play in the first eleven and I feel he is too young, what are your thoughts?’
    “My father said it was not up to him but the school and the coach to decide and if the coach felt that I was good enough to play he didn’t have a problem in exposing me to the realities and to the world.“When I got the opportunity at 13 years I played in the first eleven team for six years and that really gave me the edge as a little child for I understood and learnt what was required at the highest level at a very young age. I was able to mature much faster than most of the other cricketers.”
    Speaking further De Silva stated: “All these children are blessed with a lot of talent and we feel that some are talented and some are not. But in their own way they are more talented if they are given the confidence to go out and make mistakes and learn through them. I am telling all the coaches to go back to their younger age because I see most of the coaches expect a 15 or 17 year old boy to think the way they are thinking at 50 years.
    “If I were to coach one of these young boys the first thing I would do is go back to that age and understand the kind of mistakes I made to get to what I am today. Unless you understand these boys will make mistakes and learn through them, we are not going to develop them for a greater future. I made so many mistakes in life that today I look back and I am able to advise and tell, ‘son this is where you are going wrong, but it is up to you to improve and work on it’.
    “When I started as a young little boy like you’ll one thing I really enjoyed was playing cricket, more so playing sport. Like any other child I didn’t enjoy studies very much which I keep telling my wife all the time when my children want to enjoy sport. She says studies are more important and that’s one thing I don’t agree with her but she keeps pressing me not to keep advising the children in that manner.
    “But there is a reason for me to say it and the reason being that for me to achieve what I have achieved today the sport of cricket has taught me so much in life and also taught me many more things than what I’ve learnt in a classroom,” De Silva said.

     

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