Cricket: The Essentials
As the summer winds down, and the preparation for 2011 starts, I'm trying to think what I can do better in terms of developing cricketers over the winter, particularly in terms of boosting their individual, independent knowledge of the game.
What I am contemplating is spending the next term putting together a little booklet (32 pages or so, I imagine) called "Essential Cricket", or something along those lines, covering the technical fundamentals and basics that every cricketer should know. I don't want to go into detail with wicketkeeping or bowling of any kind - the details I want to include are the things that everybody should expect to use during a match. I'd then like to add a few little bits of colour/interest/story that you would hope young players would know but usually don't e.g. the ten ways of getting out.
The purpose of this thread is to get suggestions for both sections - technical and general - so that I can plan and produce it between now and Christmas - we have an after-school "cricket club" at which I'll take some photographs of technical demonstrations this term, before giving the booklet out to my squads come January.
Batting: Grip and Backswing
Batting: Forward Defence
Batting: Front Foot Drive
Batting: Backing Up and Running
Fielding: Ready Positions / The Myth of Walking In
Fielding: Close Catching
Fielding: High Catching
Fielding: Attacking the Ball (underarm throw)
Fielding: Long Barrier
Fielding: Overarm Throw
Fielding: Backing Up
Fielding: Positions (not sure how to take this captaincy-wise yet)
Ten ways of getting out
Ten Test Nations
^ Really rather short of ideas on this section - mainly cause I've only just come up with it. Help!
are you going to publish a book or what????
Shotgun a booklet :ph34r:
Looks a really good idea Neil, and you can stress the importance of getting the basics absolutely nailed. I'm captain of my club's first XI and still we talk at length about getting the basics spot on in order to give us a chance of winning the game. Absolute basics such as backing up, batsmen and in the field, clear communication in all facets, and being alert to all possibilities. A cricket brain is something that needs building and maintaining from a young age.
Perhaps in the general section, some from of quiz, ie a number of different scenarios in where they have to think about the game, not necessarily a right or wrong thing, just a case of getting them thinking.
The initial idea is booklets put together through the magic of massive photocopiers, but if it comes out well enough I'd reckon (intended initial targets are my County U10s, District U11 and School U11) there will likely be contacts in and around the system that might help me take things further.
It will absolutely be all about the basics - as I said in the first post, things that every cricketer can expect to be doing, every ball of every game. The philosophy behind the County U10s this season has been nailing those basics every time out, from the beginning of the warm up - including drills which specifically require communication and boys shouting to each other.
I like the "quiz" idea. I'm imagining you're thinking along these lines - this is something that goes on the "player profile" form that I get the boys to fill in over the winter.
* There is one over left of a game and your team needs nine to win, with one wicket left. You’re 44 not out, and your team mate can defend... but not much else. What would be your plan?
* If you were part of the fielding team, what would you be thinking? Would you want to bowl?
* What about if you were the fielding captain? What would you do?
A few more questions along that line would be great - fire them this way!
Yes absolutely questions like that where there may be numerous answers and not a single correct answer.
- Your the captain and you go out for the toss, the wicket's slightly damp with a decent grass covering, while the weather is cloudy. You win the toss what do you opt to do ?
The important thing is not necessarily the answer, but how they reach that answer. The question above is quite a broad question, of course the strengths of the team is not taken into account, but you know what I mean.
- The pitch has variable bounce and is not easy for strokeplay, what line should the bowler be looking to bowl ?
- They have a batsman that is in and set on 60 not out, when you introduce your leg-spinner, what field will you start with ?
- You're in the last 5 overs of their innings, and you're the bowler, what lengths are you generally looking to bowl, and what's your field ?
Great questions. I'll be using them. These are the sort of things that I try to cover before the match as we sit down - "there's a short boundary on that side - what does that mean for your spinners/field settings?" The answer to question one is "bowl".
I suppose I could extend the field settings bit to a more general "in the field" to include "before the game": things to look for before you toss up, like the boundary, the outfield, grass covering, cracks, dust, bounce, moisture. We can have a "did you know..." box about the tree at Canterbury on that page, too.
Yes a fact box is a good idea, with one or two snippets of cricket information.
Yes the answer to question one is absolutely bowl, but they could make a case for batting, depending on how they reached that answer, and it is the bit about how they reached their conclusion that makes for interesting reading. Maybe to do with a certain points system, or some other reason that is not obvious in the question.
I think it's good and important that you do communicate the things you mention with the side, and make them aware of such potential advantages they could gain.
If the number 11 is nippy, run twos by trying to hit down the ground (meaning that for the 2nd, you're not running to the danger end.)
Originally Posted by Neil Pickup
If the number 11 gets on strike, tell him to defend anything that's on the stumps, and run. If it's missing the stumps, leave and run like **** for the bye.
If you're Sehwag, finish the game in 2 balls by hitting it out the ground.
Incidentally, could you expand a bit on the "Myth of Walking In"?
One of the things that pisses me off the most when my teams are in the field is when players are not in a position to react to the ball when it gets hit towards them.
Originally Posted by GingerFurball
Too many children, with the best of intentions, listen to what coaches and/or senior players say about walking in, and interpret it as starting to walk in as the bowler begins his run up, walking several paces in, and then standing stock still as the bowler lets go of the ball. This then leaves them with their weight on their heels to watch the ball down the wicket, into the bat, past their heels and on to the boundary, before turning round to retrieve it from the nearby boundary/stream/picnic.
What I want to see is short, low, aggressive strides in the final couple of yards of the bowler's run-up, ensuring the fielder has a strong and stable base, with his weight moving forward and on the balls of his feet, at the moment the ball reaches the batsman. Unless of course he's fielding at short cover, in which case he really shouldn't be walking in but staying in a solid base, or out on the boundary, when he needs to start behind the ropes and take a couple of steps onfield in preparation, not ten paces in to watch the ball go over his head...
I have been walking in with the bowler my whole life - and some people say you are supposed to be still at the moment of delivery so can react - is this correct Neil?
Neil can write one if he wants to. He really is THAT good.
Originally Posted by slipknot
At the point of delivery, I want to see players in what I tend to call the "goalkeeper position" - widish base, bent knees, weight heavily forward but not committed onto either foot. Important to have a still, level head to judge your response properly, but the danger with talking about being "still" is that children get into positions from which they can't quickly push off or get down.
Originally Posted by Hurricane
I think as long as you make your fundamentalistic points across as mentioned in the scenarios aswell as some additional scenarios then it should be good... Remember that they are only under 10/11, you should take it step by step and gradually take it to the point where you have troubleing scenarios to ask the children etc, otherwise sounds like an awesome idea.
My entire life is built around asking questions that don't have immediately obvious answers and hence make the children think - deeply - about what they are saying. It's one of the fundamentals of any of my teams, or to extend the point to my maths lessons, that kids think about what they're doing and why they're doing it rather than just acting on autopilot. Don't underestimate what an 11 year old can do - as a country we're often very guilty of that.