I'm sitting on my sofa on a summer Saturday morning. There's no cricket today because the game was called off last night. This makes West champions of the WDCU Division One by default.
Despite feeling flat about such a rubbish way to win the league, we still won the league, and that's great work. Time for some reflections (even though there is a game to go).
- We had a plan this year and stuck to it well: Bat first, score more than 173 then bowl the opposition out for under 130.
- When we strayed from this plan, we did much worse, losing games against weaker opposition.
- Almost everyone had a good season, the overseas pro is excellent but not streets ahead. One exception was the captain who had a shocker with the bat.
- We had more stat analysis and this seemed to help focus minds, especially in fielding.
- Training session quality is still very much dependant on the mindset of the players. I still have work to do to encourage a growth mindset with everyone.
- That said, I have also seen some great strides forward in positive, self-sufficiency in players at all levels. No one is "just hitting balls" any more.
- Training started well-attended for a couple of months, got sidetracked mid-season by a lot of T20 cricket and has seen patchy attendance in August. I need to work out what to do about that next year.
- This included two of our new coaches who started with gusto and totally stopped coming by the the end of the summer. Coaching is not all glamour! I realise I could have done more to help motivate and inspire then and perhaps they tailed away because I wasn't leading well enough (this was my first year leading a group of coaches). That said, I hope the lads can find a way to stay enthused next season when they are fully qualified.
- Cup cricket is great for team morale.
- T20 cricket is a strange creature with weaker sides and rushed or ignored preparations. I need more thought about how we manage it.
- We rewrote the dry, rubbish code of conduct and made it more reflective of our aims as a club, especially the first team. I will continue to lead the review of it and keep it relevant, realistic but also aspirational.
I'll do a longer post on all the analysis and averages later, but it looks good!
The next challenge is the Premier League. I have already started planning what improvements we need to make over the winter to get up to scratch (including recruitment). Again, this will be another post in future.
As we stand - assuming the side is unchanged - I think we would finish mid table with some big scalps but also some heavy defeats. The good news is I think we can thrive in the Prem and develop into a league-challenging side within a couple seasons. It all rests on building a culture where players work hard, stick together and keep developing.
Well played West!