John Blain – Former Yorkshire, Northamptonshire & Scotland Cricketer and now Director of Cricket at The Grange C.C. in Edinburgh.

December 14, 2020

A very candid view of what High Performance is to him and what he needed to survive. As expected, John was open and honest about his journey through sport touching on some of the highs, the lows and controversies he was involved in. A constant was John asking himself “What was the learning in that”

This is a unique and authentic story..

John shares some really personal and never shared before stories when he was involved as a played for Scotland and coach at Yorkshire. It is a must listen….and a great opportunity to learn from his Sport Story. Here is a little more about John and his background…

John is a Scottish, Edinburgh born ex First Class and International Cricketer who was inducted into the Cricket Scotland Hall of Fame in May 2019. In formative years John enjoyed 6 years within the pathway of youth professional Football with Hibernian F.C. and Falkirk F.C. John is also an ECB Level 4 Cricket Coach awarded in 2013.

From a modest sporting background, John has followed a less than linear and comfortable pathway to the highest possible playing and coaching levels in Cricket. Over 25 years of involvement in professional sport comes with a strong and compelling backstory of ups, downs, challenges and learnings.

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Success quotes or sayings that stood out:

  • For me it was right!
  • Mum and dad provided a scaffolding support
  • I was very self taught
  • It was a potent mix for me as a learner
  • Help an individual understand how they take on information
  • I came up on the inside track
  • Circumstance plus opportunity
  • 2 sports that complemented each other but the struggle was at times hard
  • We talk about High Performance is playing ‘in the moment’ and with freedom
  • I played in the moment and that is why I was best suited to high performance
  • The irony of High performance – Play in moment and self-taught
  • High Performance should come with a Toxic sign
  • I needed that high performance personality to survive
  • I really appreciate and took the learning once I came out the High Performance environment
  • I just problem solved and learnt as I went – which I called on this skill throughout my career
  • Importance of aligning myself with good people
  • I left home at 17 yrs old. My Past (early) experiences stood me in good stead later in life
  • People are often given positions but still need to earn the credentials/credibility
  • Importance of understanding the person and having the coaching toolbox
  • You have to go and try and understand the individual
  • The job is about the ‘struggle chapters’ as well as the ‘good chapters’ in the book.
  • As a coach I often find myself searching for the answer myself.
  • I often stop and ask myself – what is the learning in that
  • The importance of having a trusted support network to share and ask
  • I need to step back and take time for my personal learning
  • The importance of culture and setting the ‘right’ environment to learn and improve


Quick fire questions:

How I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Discipline to do the volume and be organised

Have everything planned and in place


Who has made a big impact on you?

My family – mum, dad and sister!

Philip St Johnstone – Penicuik

Jim Love

Ricky Graham

Steve Oldham


Coaching questions I would like to pose:


What strategies do you have today that have helped you in the past but no longer help you now? How can you now change these strategies?


You don’t have to do it on your won – who do you call on when in need of help and support? Who is in your trusted support network and what is missing?


What is the ‘mix of ingredients’ you require to best help you learn?


Contact info:

Twitter – Johnblain4

Email –

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