We had two sessions this week that were different but both influenced by the rain, and both on the right track.
Tuesday saw a small group suddenly become 15 players when a game was called off and most of the players had a net instead. We did some outdoor fielding drills with the small group and focused on hitting the stumps. This is an area that can always be improved, and I feel we are especially poor. We hit less than 10% in practice. To counter this we did some volume work, first aiming at five stumps and going down to two as we hit.
When the group got bigger we went inside for nets as the square was unusably wet. Six players went indoors and the rest I left to self-lead fielding.
Inside, we had three or four bowlers in an open net, and one guy up on the machine. Everyone is getting the "bat with intent" mantra a lot better and we rotated batsmen through, all working on specifics. The challenge now is to make a difference to player's in the short time available.
It certainly seems that way. One batsman wanted to work on judging the ball outside off stump, and he nailed it for three buckets. Another wanted to learn a pulled shot and was getting it dead on within 10 minutes. The proof will come in games, but it certainly looks good in training.
Thursday was a low turn out with a 3rd XI game on the same night. However, it was the perfect situation for a net in the middle: The pitch was one that had only been used for three overs in an abandoned match, all the players were first team standard bowlers (except one who was a dab hand with the sidearm anyway) and they all wanted a bat. Everyone got a good 20 minutes against good bowling on a good pitch. The bowler's were fired up. Everyone got something from it with none of the usual frustrations of net sessions.
However, I have decided to chase up individually some guys who I have not seen much in recent weeks. There has been a big tail away in numbers. A lot can be explained by reasonable things like games and holidays but I would like to remind people we are still only halfway through the season and there is still a good chance we can stay up if we put the work in.