With better weather, we finally got some sessions on the square and took advantage by having some middle practice.
I was cautious as the last time we tried to do this it failed badly. I didn't want a repeat so we chatted as a group and came up with a set of rules based on building realistic pressure. Here's what we said,
- Bat in pairs with the minimum of a run every third ball.
- All forms of dismissal possible
- Two bowlers in tandem, bowling from one end.
- After 4 wickets, the pair are finished
Overall it was a success, despite their being one pair who got a longer bat and one pair who got out fairly quickly. This didn't go down well in all quarters so I pointed out that cricket is like that sometimes. We don't all get our 15 minutes to bat in games. I also said that how you respond to an "unfair" moment tells you a lot about your character. Sometimes, like cricket and life, training is unfair. The ability to shrug off the unfairness is part of your skill as a player.
On the plus side everyone fielded with intensity. Hopefully this was due to the words I had beforehand about staying up for it, and also the multiple run out chances because of the third ball run rule!
Then, as a counter-balance, we had a more traditional net at the next session. The session was low in both numbers and player motivation. I think this is because the season is drawing to a close and there is not much to play for. I let it drift along just keeping a general eye on people and offering some quiet words. It's not exactly what I wanted to do, but sometimes you have to read the tone of the day.
With three senior sessions left this season, I may give people a new focus to finish the season well.