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Thread: Help playing forward

  1. #1
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    Help playing forward

    We have a youngster who is a very good aggressive batsman. However, his strength only lies in thumping the ball and playing aggressively off the back foot. He is not very good at going forward or defending.

    His problem is that whenever he is told to hold the fort and play defensively, he struggles. In such circumstances he tends to defend on his back foot which means that he gets bowled more often than not by spinners or by low-bounce balls.

    I want to get this boy to start playing on his front foot and get the ball at the pitch or as close as possible. How do get him to play more on his front foot and go forward? Are there any excercises or strategies for doing this.

  2. #2
    School Boy/Girl Captain kevinpietersen's Avatar
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    Throwdowns will help this. Pitch the ball about half-a-metre away from him so it would struggle to play a backfoot shot to force him onto the front foot. If he plays a back foot shot he should have to do a penalty like press ups.
    Hope that helps.
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  3. #3
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    A couple of things you can try

    I would say that this is more habit than anything else (possibly from being scared of the ball at some stage?) so try to get him hitting tennis balls from a tee, then drop drives then throwdowns then move onto cricket balls and bowling machine/bowlers (a process of a couple of sessions or more). Probably start with a conversation about why he thinks he only plays off the back foot and see what you pick up there. Tell him that he needs to push forward using his back foot (pushing into the ground) and ask him to feel the pressure on the inside of his back foot when doing so (the feeling of something is easy for them to realise). Ask him to take his head to the ball rather than his front foot (it will follow automatically to balance him) and hit the ball from below his eyes. A very iimportant point is that his front leg is bent when playing forward, if it is straight he will struggle to play through the off side. Video is a good tool. Show him the different positions he can get his body weight to and which is the ideal position. Once he realises that he can do this then you can bring in a reward/punishment system. Keep it challenging so he doesnt get bored and help him realise that he can still score boundaries from the front foot (and stay in longer as well).

  4. #4
    School Boy/Girl Captain kevinpietersen's Avatar
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    I would do the above. Use a bowling machine with tennis balls though then move on to the bowling machine balls.
    Hope that helps.


  5. #5
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    Thanks KP

    I'm sure your extra words of wisdom will help



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