I had a request for a more intense session to overload the players and make training closer to game pressure, so we put together some drills.
I looked to push the players in both fatigue and mental stress with three stations. Two areas were devoted to different races where ball skills were needed, and one was a throwing drill where the players had to hit a target after performing an excercise to drive up heart rate.
All these drills had cricket elements but were really about dealing with physical and mental pressure. As a group, we are good at this, but it was good to mix it up and encourage the guys to reflect on developing a system for handling pressure to take to the middle.
We then split into four groups. Some went indoors to hit balls. Some did a batting drill where the aim was to hit the ball into a gap based on a call from the feeder. Some did target bowling. The rest worked on some fielding skills, specifically slip catching with some great feeds from our resident hard hitting, big arm throwing batsman. I wore a helmet to do the nicks, just in case. He has a good arm!
A session like this is great for activity, and the challenge becomes linking this busywork into stuff you can use on the field. That's where a review is all important to think how you reacted in that situation, and what you need to do to get the best result in the middle. I need to further stress this process to players as they can do this work between sessions.
I finished the session but had time to do some one to one work with the new first team keeper. We are working on his posture, both staying low and keeping his head and hands in line. He is coming along.