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Coaching younger players

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So just wanted to get the views of any coaches out there on a view Iím starting to formulate on how young players are coming into senior cricket.

Iv seen on multiple occasions this year young players about 14-16 who are mainly batters come in and there techniques seem totally drilled to facing bowling machine in half volleys and nothing else. They chew up lots of delivers and seem to play nothing else but a drive or forward defence and thatís about it.

Prime example if the last two Iv seen turn up in there full county age group kit and canít hit a ball off the square. We play against some of the big prem and div 1 clubs in our league and they all have young players in there 2nd teams but they seem so annoyed with themselves when they get 10-15 off say 10 overs or get out playing an expansive shot because they seem incapable of rotating the strike or doing anything to put the bowler off a length.

So whatís happening with coaching, is it to much bowling machine driven coaching and so wrapped up in technique as opposed to actual game situation??

You are going to need to break down their technique and approach to get the to reset where their scoring areas are.
Away from a bowling machine.

I start with under arming balls at the players chest and get them to pull them. Working hard on their ball striking is a good start.

Then feed them balls in more realistic league areas, short of a length and get them to work out what their scoring areas are going to be.

Then it is a case of what are the strike rotation options.
It doesn't take that long.

Finally there is the mental aspect, what are they trying to do are they working out what the bowlers are trying to do.

When batting it is key you don't get two youngsters batting together if you can help it. You need a senior pro to talk them through it.

It is depressing how few half vollies outside the off stump I get when I play. 😂

I had the honour to bowl to an eleven years old. And I bowled like 45 minutes to him. Off side shot he played, were just wonderful! Very relaxed and fluent.
Is weak on the leg but within that time he showed improvement.
It's the talent and the will that account! He's been coached from the start, that's a big advantage! And I'm very sure he'll make one hell of a batter! If he keeps his motivation and hard work.
He said he's a bowler too, wants to be a good all rounder. I asked him to bowl, and he turns out to be good bowler, his first delivery after that long batting just spot on! Asked about his fielding, he said, that's not that good.

I asked his dad what number he bats, he said, at 4. Reason being he wants to bowl as well. Then I try tried to convince him to let his son bat as an opener one week and lower next. Before we left, he said, actually I will bat him as an opener and see how that goes.

I think this is where the sidearm tool comes into it's own. Bowling machines are great at drilling a specific shot or area but the sidearm provides a bit more variety.

It has been a while since I've been involved in coaching but I think it's important to go beyond technique and look at mentoring as well. By this I mean sitting down with players at the end of the game/coaching session and going through what worked well and what could be improved on. You have to be realistic with the people you are coaching, they might see ABD hit one out of ground and think "I can do that" but it's how you tell them that they most probably can't but this is what they can do instead (placement/running between the wickets).

Any practice that you do has to have a purpose even if it is a case of today we are working on playing the ball late and running singles against a bowler who is limiting the scoring. I see far too much practice for the sake of hitting a bowling machine ball.

Technique is important but a holistic approach to coaching that looks at the development of the player/person is how I would prefer to be coached. Any player needs a mentor or someone they can talk to about the game. The hard part is finding good mentors with the players/club at heart. 


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