JournoNews caught up with born-and-bred Durbanite and well-known cricket coach, Andrew Shedlock, who runs the highly successful Shedders Cricket Academy in Durban North, KZN, South Africa. The Academy specializes in cricket coaching for all age groups from beginners to Club and even Provincial Players.
What does Shedders Cricket Academy do?
Shedders Cricket Academy caters for age groups from six years old onward. With the school boys I mainly concentrate on one-on-one coaching and this is for all ability levels, from beginners to boys that are more advanced. Another branch of my Academy is for boys who have left school and they spend a year with me. Here the emphasis is to improve the cricketing skills with the ‘hope’ of going onto play provincial cricket. They complete a Level 1 coaching course as well as an umpiring and scoring course. During cricket season they also coach a team at the school where my Academy is based, Northwood High School.
What major lessons have you learnt running your own business?
Major lessons I have learnt in my profession is that although the youngsters are different in character, ability, skill etc., they all require the same amount of attention, motivation and encouragement. Coach or teach each boy with passion and always remember the ones with less skill and ability are as enthusiastic as the better ones. My motto is that after each session that a boy has with me he must go away with the feeling that he cannot wait to come back to ‘Shedders’.
How do you manage to balance family and business commitments?
Balance between family and work commitments is sometimes difficult because of the hours I work. I also coach the 1st team at Northwood High School and a Club. During cricket season I can have a seven-day week with a school game on Saturday and Club game on a Sunday. During the week bar Friday, I sometimes only get home after 7.30pm. I make sure that during the week I have a time slot available for my son Ross because sometimes in my profession one can get caught up so often in other peoples’ children and you forget about your own. One thing I make sure of is that I try never to miss any of my kids’ school activities. I have a very understanding and wonderful wife (she is also a teacher by profession) so I am very fortunate that they understand my work.
You’ve seen Durban grow over the last few years, what do you love about living there?
Durban is a wonderful place to live, close to the sea and the mountains (although I don’t spend enough time at the mountains) Summers are warm and winters are mild. Always been a Durban boy!!
Favourite holiday desitnation?
We are ‘locals’ at Pumula Beach Resort, down the South Coast of KZN. It’s such a relaxing and enjoyable place to be on holiday – the kids love it as they are entertained 24/7. One can just relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of work. The management and staff are friendly, the setting is stunning and the food is unbelievable.
What restaurants would you say are ‘a must’ in Durban? Why?
Scoozi’s because they cater for the kids. Gabby’z – for the food and the vibe. These two are my favourite – I am a funny guy – find something I like and stick to it. My wife always says I must ‘experiment’ more.
What’s a normal ‘day at the office’ for you?
Normal day at the office for me is: take kids to school first thing in the morning, then I go to gym. Start coaching at 9.30am and usually have about an hour break between 12.00pm and 1.00pm. Back to coaching usually around 1.00pm and finish anytime from 6.00pm -7.30pm in the evening, depending on the season i.e. summer or winter. Summer is cricket season, so the hours are longer. During winter I also coach on a Saturday morning but in summer, my weekends are taken up by cricket matches, for school and club.
What or who inspires you?
My love and passion for my work inspires me. I can say this with all honesty – there is never a day when I wake up and not want to go to work because I don’t enjoy what I do. To work with young children and teenagers must be the most rewarding profession anyone can wish for. When it involves sport and being active, there’s nothing better. To see youngsters improve and perform gives me the greatest thrill. I just enjoy working with kids, no matter what age, ability, skill etc.
What do you do to keep fit and healthy?
I try and train every day before I start coaching – used to enjoy my running but injuries have finally caught up with me. Now I enjoy my spinning.
Any hobbies, things you enjoy outside work?
I have always enjoyed my horse racing from a very early age but have never been a gambler, in fact I don’t gamble (which a lot of people find strange with my passion and knowledge of horse racing). I have always enjoyed the thrill of the sport; I think the horse is an amazing animal. I am a huge Sharks follower. Other than that being involved in sport all my life, I am a big follower of all sports.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I am very happy and content with my work at the moment. I would like to see my Academy grow but that will come with hard work. I have a lovely family, a great job and would not change it for anything at the moment. If the opportunity did arise for me to coach at a higher level, I would definitely jump at the opportunity.
Proud Dad, Andrew, watches his young son, Ross’s bowling action in the nets.