This session was again split between inside and outside. The focus was on the bowlers, so we did some general fielding work, bowled a little on the outfield then went indoors for nets.
The fielding was standard stuff: a quick pickup drill and throw drill to warm up, low catches against our new throwdown net and high catches from various angles. We didn't count catches because I want guys to feel like they are not having everything tracked all the time. It was good to get some volume in.
Some guys made up their own drills, which is always a pleasure for me to see. One area of caution for me is that when players do their own drills, they do about 10 times more high catches than low and flat catches and ground work. The ratio should really be 1:1 or even slightly in favour of the low ones. Still, this is a minor point. Volume is high and volume is the best way to improve catches in games.
The outdoor bowling aim was to get seamers running in of their full run up. We didn't worry about accuracy or pace, just aiming to get the feel back for bowling outside after so many months of short run ups and hard surfaces. I will progress this later with PitchVision, target cones and multi stumps.
Interestingly, one bowler took about 10 balls to find anything like a decent length. He was bowling the ball at his feet for a while! Eventually he sorted it out but it shows how different conditions can play havoc with your game.
In the nets, we played the 421 game with those I felt needed it. Others I let slide for various reasons. This was mainly about the bowlers hitting their lengths so I wasn't too concerned with batting performance.
There was another interesting point here. One batsman pushed back against the 421 game strongly after his net.
He sets himself impossibly high standards, puts huge pressure on himself and gets very frustrated when he - in his mind - fails.
So, when I added the extra mental load of calculating runs, dealing with bowlers who questioned his decisions and making getting out costing him his "average", he was pushed over the edge. He told me afterwards he just wanted to hit balls and thought the whole excercise was a waste of time.
I didn't want to argue. He is an experienced player. He knows what he needs far better than me. If he feels a different aim is better for him, who am I to argue anyway?
So, I clarified to him that all my silly games are merely suggestions. Some people like to be told what to do, so I always have a game on hand. Other people have a different intention in mind. And that's fine too. In fact, I prefer it. I am a coach not a teacher or guru. My job is to work with players to help them find their own best way.
I welcomed his feedback. Although perhaps I would not have had it delivered quite so angrily in front of everyone else! I wasn't offended, as it was clear he was frustrated and I had not made my position clear. Overall, I would prefer people were honest and revealed their frustration rather than steam in silence.
The rest of the net ran nicely. People got a bowl and bat. Someone who arrived for his first net mucked in and helped himself feel welcome. A leg spinner who is new to the club since February bowled like a dream. He will be an interesting addition, taking our senior leg spin pool to six!