ANDREW GALE is determined to stay on an even keel in his third season as Yorkshire’s first-team coach.
Gale said that he is learning to stay in the moment and not get too caught up in the emotion of the game.
“I wanted to do so well as a player and now as a coach and you can get caught up in the highs and lows if you’re not careful,” he said.
“If we lose every game in April, for example, we can still have a successful season and it’s just about trying to stay constant.
“It’s all about trying to see the bigger picture and not getting caught up in the emotion of every match.
“It’s a learning process really and just a case of going through it.”
Gale, 35, was not only one of the most successful captains in Yorkshire’s history, with two County Championship trophies to his credit, but also one of the most passionate.
Trying to stay level may not come easy to a man who has always worn his heart on his sleeve but he is learning to take a more measured approach.
It is a target helped by the fact that he now has the players and environment that he wants after a transitional period at Emerald Headingley.
There have been a number of comings and goings in the last two years, but there is now a stable look to the Yorkshire squad.
I feel like I’ve got the squad that I want now. It’s taken a while to get to that stage, and I feel that this is the sort of environment that I want.Yorkshire first-team coach, Andrew Gale
“I feel like I’ve got the squad that I want now,” said Gale.
“It’s taken a while to get to that stage, and I feel that this is the sort of environment that I want.
“Bowling-wise, we’ve got a lot of strength in depth and I’m really comfortable with where we’re at.
“Batting-wise, it’s just about the guys standing up and scoring runs, that’s what it comes down to.”
After two years of flirting with Championship relegation, Gale is not minded to make bold predictions of silverware this season.
His side undoubtedly have the talent to challenge, but he is mindful of their largely youthful nature.
“I haven’t set any expectations really,” he insisted.
“We haven’t spoken about where we want to be at the end of the season, we haven’t spoken about winning Championships or getting to T20 Finals Day, or anything like that.
“The average age of the squad is 25, and whereas five years ago we could probably handle the expectation of going into the season and you’re expected to win the County Championship, I don’t want to put too much pressure on the players.
“I want them to take every game as it comes, the old cliche, and smash the processes week-in, week-out, and not start looking towards the end goal.
“If we start looking at the end goal, we’ll be inconsistent, but if we take every game as it comes, week by week, and tick off the things we’ve said we’re going to do, then we’ll be in a good spot.
“We’ve just got to be consistent with those processes week-in, week-out, which has probably been our downfall particularly in red-ball cricket in the last few years.
“We’ve done some good stuff, but we haven’t been consistent enough to challenge the teams at the top end of the table.”
Asked what could potentially make the difference this year, Gale said: “I think continuity of selection is a big thing.
“I think having senior players in good form is key to us, people like Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth.
“I think we’ve got a bit more experience in the younger lads. Harry Brook has been around now. He’s played for 18 months. Tom Kohler-Cadmore has been around county cricket for a while, as has Jack Leaning.
“Now’s the time for them to stand up and kick on a little bit and start to try to win games for Yorkshire.”
After two challenging seasons, along with some pretty ruthless criticism along the way from certain sections of the club’s support, Gale is anxious to maintain his own development.
“I’m always learning as a coach, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“I’m three years into the job and there’s blokes at other counties who’ve got 30 years in the job.
“I’m nowhere near the finished article – I don’t think you ever really are.
“I’ve learnt a lot the last few years, how you communicate to your staff and your players, things like that, and I’m constantly striving to get things right.
“I’ve never gone hard at people – that’s not been my style as a coach.
“I just think the transitional period probably happened much quicker than we’d all expected.
“The comings and goings have damaged us the last few years a bit, upset our rhythm and momentum in the season.
“That’s why one of the biggest things that I’m trying to get is consistency of selection, which I hope will stand us in really good stead.”
Gale will also be helped by the arrival as batting coach of Paul Grayson, the former Yorkshire and England all-rounder.
Grayson, who had been coaching Durham University and the Yorkshire Diamonds women’s side, took up his role ahead of the club’s pre-season tour to Potchefstroom in South Africa.
“Having someone like PG around is great,” said Gale.
“He’s been around the houses and I can talk to him about how he’s done it because he’s had some highs and lows as well along the way.
“Speaking to him and Martyn (Moxon, the director of cricket) and getting reassurance that we’re doing the right things is massive for me.
“I feel like we’ve got a good coaching structure in place and a good squad of players, too.”