LEWIS McManus was fortunate enough to receive coaching from professional cricketers during his formative years.

And the wicketkeeper is paying that forward to the next generation by offering sessions during his enforced break from playing.

McManus has become a regular at Hampshire over the past five years, making 39 first-class appearances alongside 73 white-ball outings – which produced a Royal London One-Day Cup medal in 2018.

The Dorset Academy product, 25, has set up ‘Lewis McManus Coaching’ during the COVID-19 lockdown to provide the type of early advantages he received, while following the ECB's strict social distancing guidelines.

McManus said: “People who play cricket are going to be short of practising and may not get any game time this season.

“So I thought it would be a good opportunity to start this up to give people the chance to develop their cricket skills despite everything that’s going on.

“I had some great coaches at Dorset at a young age. I had a guy called Rob Newton, and then Matt Keech who used to play at Hampshire and Middlesex. And so those guys ran the Dorset EPP at the time.

“I was lucky at school that in the second year I was there we had Tom Flowers, who was an ex-Leicestershire professional, and then Dan Conway, who had been on the staff at Yorkshire.

“They'd experienced and played in the first-class cricket environment and just gave me that next step up and that insight into what second-team cricket was like.

“I am grateful to those guys for giving me a head start for the intensity of professional cricket before my time.”

McManus, an ECB Level Two qualified coach, has previously spent winters coaching on a more informal basis at Clayesmore School, where he is an alumnus, among other clubs and schools in the Hampshire and Dorset area.

Those experiences helped McManus discover the type of coach he would like to be – with Hampshire batting coach Tony Middleton a particular inspiration.

“I don't think that you can be too rigid as a coach,” he said.

“I would always try as much as possible for a player to lead a session for where they want to go.

“I think that that's one thing that coaches at Hampshire are very good at, especially Tony Middleton, who I've worked with for a number of years.

“I think that's the best way for players to learn.

“The best advice I always give people is to ask questions and try and build your game as young as you can.

“You want to pick the brains of people that you respect, and coaches that you like working with but not everything they say will work for you.

“There'll be a number of things that maybe I say to two players that they'll like, and now they'll add to their game, but there will be other bits where they’ll say, ‘I like that but it doesn’t work for me’.

“That's fine, as long as I've given them that exposure to that and then they choose whether to take it on or not.”

McManus is still fully focused on his playing career, but a dip into coaching has the potential to set-up a second wind in the sport once he retires.

“If it went well, then it was something that I can potentially move into when I finished playing,” McManus said.

“But it's not something that I set up because I'm anywhere near finishing. I’m fully involved in my playing career and I still have huge ambitions which I want to achieve.

“At the moment it is something to keep me occupied during the lockdown and then if it goes well then I'll look grow it as and when my playing commitments allow me to do so.”

For more information and to book, please email lewismcmanuscoaching@gmail.com