My focus in this session was to make sure the activity was high, yet allow space for personal development and, naturally, have some fun in the sunshine so close to the start of "serious cricket".
In previous sessions I have been overcome by the amount of people with varying standards of ability and felt like I have not been doing justice to everyone, especially those who are more recreational. This time I think I nailed it.
After a basic skills warm up (underarm throws, low catches and a high catch with lots of running about and shoulder warming), I spilt the group of 12 into three sections:
- Fielding, various drills working on low catches and ground work running from left to right and right to left.
- Target bowling
- Power hitting
I gave the guys the option of indoor nets for more orthodox batting but no one took it.
The power hitting game was on the edge of the square (too wet for a practice wicket) and I set target areas for the players to try and hit underarm feeds to the off side and leg side over the infield.
The idea was to help players understand the positions they need to get into to hit upwards, and the power they need to get to go over the infield without going for a massive six and trying to hit too hard.
It was good activity, fun to watch and I feel the main objective was reached. As always, I couldn't control the activity as close as a I wanted and the drill details broke down a little when the feeds became unrealistic lobs and the target became hitting sixes. Despite these flaws, the basic idea worked well.
I also had a spinner who wanted to bowl to a batsman, and a batsmen who wanted to work on playing spin. After a quick collaboration with me, they went and did exactly that for about half an hour. That was perfect.
- The good: Lots of activity, personal goals met, a fun session.
- Needs work: More specific prep for the weekend, better control of drills by players to make sure goals are met, better tracking of performance (although the this might be better restricted to Tuesday sessions).
One to ones
I also did a couple of one to one sessions this week that all went very well.
One session was aimed at freeing up a player and developing a new shot. Great progress was made thanks to Mark Garaway's decision making drill.
One session was about getting some throw down volume for a player to help him feel confident. He has no major flaws but we did establish some tactical things that fit his technique and he is going into the first game confident of how to play to give himself the best chance of success.
The last session was helping a spinner who "falls away". We have identified the problem starts in his run up as he bounds with is weight going to the batsman's leg side, and so he falls to the off side to compensate. We are working on some chaining drills to correct this, but it may take some time as his body is so used to that movement now.