After the recent losses, we have worked on a few things to sharpen up both in the field and with the bat. In this session, I continued that theme. We had fewer players than usual but we used the session well.
We started with an underarm warm up drill that challenged the players by forcing them to do two things: feed and move, and execute the skill and move a different direction. It's surprisingly taxing to think and move, but exactly what you need to do in a match.
Then we had middle practice with the focus on scoring by working the ball around. We used cones to set the field; red cones were boundary men, yellow cones were in the ring. I challenged the batting pair to score by hitting the ball into gaps with real running.
As I wanted the guys to experiment with different methods of scoring, so we batted for time instead of having a short end for getting out.
Another way to add pressure is to keep score and put a consequence on the losing pair. I didn't do that on this occasion, but perhaps I will with more evenly matched teams.
However, no one needed this extra motivation as all the players took the session seriously and stuck to the task. When the game is a bit contrived it's easy to default to having a hit. We didn't do that and when it seemed like we might, a little cajoling from me got everyone back on track right away. That was good mental application and grit from all in attendance. As a club, we need this approach to filter through every level.
I was most impressed by a young bowler who considers himself a dreadful batsman. However, he got stuck in and despite getting out several times initially, he found a way to score and was starting to rotate the strike in a realistic scenario for him (batting 11 but having to get through to 50 overs to set a target).
- The good: positive attitude from players, drills did as intended.
- Needs work: better attendance, especially from 1st XI squad players. Playing midweek games is fine but isn't the place to prepare from Saturday if you want to improve. I also feel I need to get the balance of player- and coach-led work tuned up.
One to one
I had a further chance to work with our new first team keeper one to one. We did a range of drills from basic glove work to advanced challenging drills. He has good hands but needs better posture and there is no doubt he's making progress.
We also learned that a standing up drill using the katchet is extremely challenging if you throw into the board from a distance.