How do you spend 21 days locked in isolation with a Brazilian model? Easy. You taught him how to play cricket.
Coco Cuhna made the mistake of suggesting to her boyfriend the cricket coach that it might be fun to see if she could show him how to hit when he saw her hitting several tennis balls into her new pop-up net.
“I’m kidding … he takes it very seriously,” he told The Mail on Sunday. “I thought, geez, why did I get myself!”
Cricket coach Gio Colucci taught his model girlfriend how to overcome the challenges of isolation
Coco Cuhna says she spends 25 minutes a day learning how to pull, cut and drive
The pair is 15 days into their 21 day challenge which they have documented on social media
Since then, for 25 minutes every day, Coco has learned bats. From finding out the basics of how to swing it to being able to drive, cut, and pull.
His girlfriend, Gio Colucci, is a director at The Cricket Academy in Cape Town, South Africa and has trained people like British batsman Tom Wesley, Derbyshire captains Billy Godleman and Ben Curran, brothers of British duo Tom and Sam. Now, he has a Brazilian model in his hand.
“I have never made contact with cricket before, I never even knew it before I moved to South Africa,” Coco said.
Today (Sunday) is the 15th day of the challenge. He actually began to enjoy himself.
“At first I was like why I did that,” Coco said. ‘The first day is the worst: I don’t know how to hold a bat, don’t know the position, no … I think this god will be so boring! But when you start hitting the ball, I start to get a little more excited. I am very competitive. I don’t remember which day I just wanted to destroy the bat. I feel like a tennis player who just wants to destroy their racket. But Gio will always calm me down and tell me that I can do it. ‘
Gio is also impressed. “I have seen a massive increase,” he said. “I never doubted that we would be able to do it but he did it much faster than I thought he would. He started to really whip several drives! This is amazing because it reaffirms how simple you can make something if you know how to communicate the basics. ‘
Colucci has coached Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman and British batsman Tom Wesley
No argument yet? ‘No! Not yet, ‘said Coco. ‘Sometimes he tells me to do something and I’m like’ I did it right ‘and he says’ you don’t’. I am a little stubborn. Sometimes I want to kill him but everything is fine! ‘
Coco has been a model since he was 14 years old, graduated in journalism and worked briefly for a press office in Sao Paulo. Now 31 years old, he also runs his own Brazilian food company specializing in tapioca, a flour factory from northern Brazil.
The two met at a pacha party at Grand Beach in Cape Town six years ago. Coco came to visit his sister who lives in South Africa. After returning to Brazil, he returned for the marriage of his sister 18 months later where he met Gio again. The two have been together ever since.
Highlights from daily practice posted on YouTube and social media. It happened from their home in Green Point, the impressive shape of the Cape Town Stadium that towered in the distance. And that too. There are no other cricket talks.
“I took him to Newlands for the Test match about two years ago in Newlands, as part of Hashim Amla’s troops. All dress up, drink beer. … after about half an hour he said it was boring and would go home! ‘
The rules of isolation in South Africa are even more stringent than in Britain. Gio and Coco are only allowed to leave the house to buy groceries or go to the doctor.
“It’s like a ghost town,” Gio said. “A bigger problem exists in our low-income areas where it’s very bad. Police and military beat people. I think in the first week of locking up, they might kill more people than the virus! ‘
Gio has been a coach for 23 years. He has taught Coco what he calls the Simple Batting Three-Step Process – ‘opening, training, improving’ – which he claims has seen his professionals see a 37 percent increase in their career advancements and 53 centuries since May 2018.
Much work with Coco has taught him how to ‘lose weight’ bats. In short, how do you get the bat to the highest point before starting downswing. Where, like a lumberjack swinging a heavy ax, it no longer feels heavy. This is how, said Gio, so many of the greatest batsmen who always seem like they have more time to play their shots that look weak and runny.
‘I’m like’ Eh? What ?, ‘laughed Coco. “I was thinking how I could hit the ball with this heavy bat.”
But it works. Not that there is hope for a future career in women’s cricket when this is all over.
“That’s not the intention, honestly,” Gio said. “It’s more trying to show people, see what is possible. If someone with a zero cricket culture can do it, then anyone can. ‘
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