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Thread: Coaching Cricket to Kids in France

  1. #1
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    Coaching Cricket to Kids in France

    Hi,
    In September, in the middle school where I live which is in western coast of France, they would like me to come and run few cricketing sessions with their students. I think the teachers and the principal would like to see how the french kids react to this new sport. And depending upon their reaction, they will decide if we continue with cricket.

    So this is a very important phase for me. I want to give my best impression and give a very positive outlook on cricket.

    My challenge is, I have never coached someone who has never played, seen or heard of cricket. In the past I have coached few players to refine their skills and techniques but that is it.

    I will have 4 classes, with 24 kids in each class. The kids are of 11-12 years old. The teachers want me to spend 2 hours with each class, to initiate and run a short cricket match. It will all take place in a gymnasium.

    So can you please help me with some guides to run these sessions properly so that the kids find it exciting and ask their teachers for more cricket? If I go right in to how to bowl a ball correctly or how to hold a bat, or about front-foot defense/back-foot defense, or about different kinds of shots, it can get quite boring. So what can I do? What kind of a match can I run for an hour that can be fast and also involves a lot of players? What makes someone who's never played any cricket, want to learn more?

    Can you please help? I really need to make these french students want more cricket and not just 2 hours of it. This way, I can successfully create a good base and sow a cricketing culture. Who knows may be in my life time I'll get to see France finally playing cricket.

    I would really appreciate your help.

  2. #2
    International Coach zorax's Avatar
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    So the way Hong Kong goes about teaching cricket to Chinese kids with no idea about it is to break each aspect of cricket into it's own thing.

    Like, lesson 1 can be batting. You teach them how to hold the bat, how to play some shots, and the 'game' at the end just involves hitting the ball

    Lesson 2 is bowling. You teach them how to bowl, run drills, and the 'game' can be just bowling at stumps and trying to hit them

    Lessons 3 and 4 can be fielding - Catching and then Throwing. Same structure. Teach the skill, drill the skill, play a game/games around the skill.

    You can then begin to introduce them to mini cricket games - one person bowls, one hits, the others catch and throw. Make the rules really simplified. No LBWs, wides end up in runs and not rebowled, be lenient on noballs. Stuff like that. You can play pairs cricket, or singles cricket. Let them stitch all the individual aspects into a full cricket game

    Working off that you can begin to get more nuanced/advanced with the skills you teach, and and keep mixing it in with different types of cricket games. There are a bunch of cricket-type games for beginners that teach vital skills - diamond cricket, french cricket, target hitting/distance hitting. Im sure you can find a bunch on google.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you for your message.

    What I need is to find something for the 2 hrs I will spend with each class. If the kids get hooked on it, then the teachers will want to continue with cricket and ask me to come once a week to their school for an hour or two for the rest of the year. And this is what my goal is. I can then teach them proper cricket.

    But for the beginning, I just need some guidelines for these 2 hrs.

  4. #4
    International Coach zorax's Avatar
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    So what I've done in 2 hours beginner workshops is something like:

    10-15 mins warmups, let them drink some water after
    5 mins explanation of what cricket is - both teams take turns to bat. The batting side tries to score runs, the bowling side tries to stop them scoring runs. The team who scores the most runs wins.
    30 mins fielding drills - over arm throw, under arm throw, close catches, high catches. The structure is to teach them how to do it, demonstrate it, let them try it a few times each, then make a game of it.
    Break for water.

    You should have little over an hour left.
    20 mins bowling drills - same structure as above. take a break after.
    20 mins batting drills - same structure as above. take a break after.

    20 mins - break them into teams and let them play a cricket match

    The goal is to keep it simple. When you teach them, try to keep it to 3 key points they need to remember and repeat, and not more. Teach the skill, demonstrate the skill, then let them try. Correct and explain when they make errors to the 3 key points. Try to not introduce new concepts. Answer their questions. And keep the 'trying' part short otherwise they'll get bored or disheartened if they cannot grasp it. Let them try each thing maybe 3-5 times or for 5 minutes before you move to the game.

    Ofcourse, they're not going to learn everything properly in 2 hours. But that isn't the goal. The goal is to familiarise them with the game, and have them playing it. So be lenient on chucking, don't make the goals in the games too hard to achieve, don't overburden them with info, and keep the mood up so they enjoy it. Kids get distracted easily. As long as they're constantly learning something new and constantly playing, they'll have fun. And as long as they're having fun, you can attribute that to cricket, and not the fact that giving kids various tasks and having them run around for a whole 2 hours is just a good way in general to keep kids amused.
    Last edited by zorax; 21-07-2017 at 07:47 PM.


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    If there's a way to show them videos then show them some really 'cool' stuff like big sixes, fast bowling, diving catches etc to quickly grasp their attention. I'm sure the school can arrange a projector in the gym.

    Then you do a demo where you demonstrate how to play a drive.

    Then get a volunteer to try.

    And finally break them into little groups to try it out.

    From my experience it's best to not introduce bowling at all early on. People get discouraged too easily. Just have someone stand there and throw it to the batter. Underarm if they really sucks.

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    Thanks Zorax for taking your time to put a plan together. And thanks Deomon for your opinion.

    I also thought about showing a small video or a power point presentation with exciting cricket action. But now I think it would be better if I run the session outdoor on a football ground. I have a choice between a gym and a football ground right outside of it.
    I think diamond cricket match would keep most of the kids involved. So it has to be done outdoor.
    Here's what I came up with:
    24 kids. So 2 teams of 12 players. I will name the teams, something like "Red Dragon", "Blue Viper" etc. These are french kids and I am doing this for their english language class as well. So a little bit of english with some exciting team names.
    1) 10 mins of introduction to cricket. Show them some cricketing material.
    2) Warm-up 20-30 mins:
    a) Get the teams in two lines and throw a ball along the ground. Have a player from each team sprint towards the ball and see who picks-up the ball first. Then accord some points to that team.
    b) Put myself in the middle and have each team line-up on each side. Throw some high balls and ask a player to catch it. Do this until each player got a chance.
    3) Now diamond cricket match: 1 hour
    Batting team split in 3 groups of 4 batsmen. All the players from the fielding side on the field. 1 wicket keeper per wicket and 2 fielders behind the wicket keeper. So all together 12 fielders. I throw the ball to the batsmen and they hit the ball and run. The 2 groups of batsmen off the field keep the score. Out = -2 points but batsman continues. Each group of batsmen do this for 10 mins. Then change the group. Innings over after 30 mins. Then switch side and continue for another 30 mins

    What do you guys think?
    I agree with Daemon that at the moment there's no point teaching them how to bowl correctly. It is difficult and can get boring. What I can do if I really want to show the kids bowling is, have a goal post made with stumps and ask players from each team to bowl a ball correctly and get it in the goal. And accord points to the ones that succeed.

    But I feel like the warm up is missing some batting. Right now it is mainly fielding. Is there a way I can incorporate batting here so that the kids get a feel of hitting the ball before playing the match?

  7. #7
    International Coach zorax's Avatar
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    1 hour is too long to play a full match

    You can have 30 minutes batting drills, and 30 minutes diamond cricket

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    What kind of batting drill can I run with the kids?

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    International Coach zorax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurray View Post
    What kind of batting drill can I run with the kids?
    You could teach them individual shots - driving the ball, pulling, cutting. If you have enough bats, balls and cones for each kid you could have them drill each shot. If not, you could have them take turns as you lob the ball at them.

    The game can be just to see how many balls they can hit in one over (also silently introduces the concept of an over to them). Or you could challenge them to see who could hit the ball furthest. Or you could set out some targets and challenge them to hit the ball into the targets, this forcing them to play the shots you taught them

    It depends on how much equipment and coaches you have really.

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    Thanks for idea.
    I will be alone with 24 kids. I have 4 sets of stump, 4 bats, and plenty of balls.

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    Best idea is bring cricket back to the 19th century basics. Underarm, one bounce, encourage hit and run.

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    Make them run laps every time someone drops a catch. That'll get them to love the game.
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    Not entirely sure why you aren't paying more heed to zorax's 2 hour lesson plan, it's pretty much perfect for that time period.

    I like the PowerPoint/video idea but not sure it's practical unless you are willing to do the lesson in a gym.

    I'm a teacher and I can assure you that 2 hours fly by!

    Best of luck, I don't doubt you'll be able to convert those frenchies!
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  14. #14
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    I think the first step would be to teach them to appeal. I'd go with something like this:

    French Appeal.jpg
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