While I am sure this is not original, here's a drill we came up with this week to help batsmen experiment and adapt while also tracking performance.
Feel free to adapt it to your needs. here is what we did:
- Batsman faces 80 balls fed from coach with sidearm: 40 spin, 40 seam
- The goal is to score as many points as possible in each quadrant.
- Q1: Rotate the strike against spin (measured by cones as target areas).
- Q2: Rotate the strike against seam.
- Q3: Score boundaries against spin (measured batsman's judgement of how well the ball was hit).
- Q4: Score boundaries against seam.
- Keep track of score and review at the end.
For the batsman in this session, we also said that he had to call and run on every ball rotated.
We also defined where counted as a boundary (straight and midwicket) to give him some focus on scoring areas.
The batter and I decided to build flexibility and adaptability into the game in two ways:
- I varied the pace, line and length and amount of movement of the feed (and we didn't count any wides I accidentally bowled).
- The batter could set any target area for rotation and boundaries but was restricted to just two areas.
The reason for this is because we didn't want the drill to become too predictable or easy. If the player found a way to nail a boundary every time, I would mix up the feed or he could change the target area.
The other reason is to give the player space to adapt his game by setting his own taget areas. This chap, for example, is very strong on the reverse sweep and switch hit. This drill gives him room to experiment with playing the shots to different types of bowling and seeing the outcome as a number.
This, of course, means the end of session review is very important. What the player learned about game is more important than what I wanted them to discover. It's playing, but in a slightly more formal way.
Give it a go, it seemed to engage this player at least!