Several of our young colts have been at district and County trials recently. It’s great to see them getting the recognition they deserve, but it does raise the question of whether we should be coaching for trials, not just for playing the game.
I have heard this a couple of times at Colts’ practice – “we don’t want a game, we won’t learn anything”; and “I’ve got a trial later this week, I must have a net”.
I guess I was never good enough to worry about trials – I played District cricket, because my school was much the strongest at cricket in the borough, and a couple of County schools games in the sixth form when a lot of the better players had left after O levels. But back in my day you were invited to play by (hopefully) knowledgeable coaches, taking advice from school masters.
The system is much fairer now, certainly, and works through the Clubs. But from the comments of some of our Colts, it does sound as if the trial has become part of the prevailing examination culture.
Which brings me back to the question – what do you have to do to “pass” a representative trial? And should we be coaching that knowledge, or trying to instill it through match play?