“I’m trying to be the mentor I never had.”
G’day legend! My name is Tom Scollay and I’m the founder of Cricket Mentoring.
As a teenager I dreamed of playing cricket for Australia, and felt that I was moving in the right direction when in 2010, at the age of 22, I began a professional cricket career with Middlesex County Cricket Club, giving me the opportunity to learn from and play against some of the best players in the world. I was incredibly excited and felt like I’d ‘made it’. However, three years later my world came crashing down when I was unexpectedly released from my contract, and decided to return to Perth. I was devastated! What had gone wrong? I had always worked hard to improve my game, and technically, I knew I was good enough. There had to be something else! Upon further reflection, I soon came to the conclusion that psychologically I had not been up to the task. It had been my emotions that had held me back. I’ve never been an emotional person (as my wife would confirm), but as all cricketers will testify, nerves can easily become frayed, doubts set in, and negative thoughts can take over our actions. I am convinced that it was my mindset that was paramount in preventing me from performing at my best, and going on to have a satisfying long-lasting successful professional cricketing career.
When I started my cricket coaching business in 2014, I was determined not to be just another “run of the mill” coach, providing just another “technically focused” session. I wanted to help aspiring cricketers understand what it takes to perform to the best of their ability. I longed to share the lessons I’d learned and to provide the necessary tools, both physical and mental, in order for them to develop their full potential.
During, and since those, brilliant days in England in pursuit of my dream, I have played with or against, coached, mentored, interviewed, and in some cases, become good friends with some of the best players in the world. Through interactions with these legends, and through my own playing experiences, I firmly believe the following to be true:
- There’s more to being successful on the field than just having a good technique – yet most coaches and players spend 99% of their time working on technique alone.
- Having a mentor or someone to guide athletes on and off the field is critical for players to reach their full potential.
While I’m proud of everything that I’ve achieved in my career so far, awareness of the above may well have helped me reach my full potential and made a difference to my career path. However, I am at peace with this now, but through my own pain, I’m extremely passionate about helping aspiring cricketers reach their full potential by being the mentor I never had!
At CM our mentors are dedicated to helping people improve their technical ability and develop their match skills, but also very importantly, we want them to understand that there’s much more to on and off field success than hitting a good cover drive. Mental skills, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, game awareness, understanding & plans, as well as how they conduct themselves away from the cricket field or nets, in our opinion, are all vital components of cricketing success!
While we aim to develop exceptional cricketers, we never forget that we are also encouraging players to adopt values that will help them lead a satisfying and successful life. For many young, dedicated and determined cricketers, cricket is everything and while we get to teach and influence people in a cricket setting, we know that cricket is just a game and only one part of our lives. We also know that only a small percentage of cricketers go on and make a career from the game and even then, a professional career has a limited lifespan. So while we educate and challenge our athletes to be the best cricketer they can be, we want to ensure the people in our programs and representing our brand are excellent characters as well.