Don’t do what I do, do what I say…

To indoor nets last Sunday – my first time as a player for two or three years, and hopefully a preliminary to playing a few games in the summer.

Remembering the tenets of “purposeful practice”, and everything I say to our Colts when I am coaching, I set myself a couple of very specific goals for my first batting practice.

  1. Play myself in, and adopt a very deliberate structure to the session
    1. 10 balls played with a dead bat, or left alone completely;
    2. 10 balls “looking for singles”, manipulating the ball into imagined gaps;
    3. pick up the pace;
    4. hit anything in sight (it always degenerates to this, in the end – but now I can call it “20/20 practice”).
  2. Try out the “action position” – this sounds like good advice, but I wanted to try it for myself before I suggested that any of the Colts start moving their feet before the ball is released…

I think I managed my second goal (more on this later).

But…the second ball I received was full, and slow, and pitched around leg, leg-and-middle. Did I play the dead bat, as per the session goals?

No – from the action position (half stride forward, synchronised with the pick-up), I shuffled down the track, and the ball was swiped towards a straight-ish mid-wicket.  I’d call it a lofted on-drive, but I doubt it looked anything like that from the bowler’s end. Probably out of reach of a fielder in the ring, unless he was very tall, very straight for mid-wicket, and left-handed.  But still a swipe.  Second ball.

Oh, Dear.  At least the Colts weren’t there to see how I failed to put into practice the advice I try to drum into them!

Maybe next week I will resist…

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Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB CA cricket coach working at the MCC Academy, the Essex Indoor Cricket Centre, and with the junior sections at Oakfield Parkonians CC & Regent's Park CC; All Stars Cricket Activator; ECB ACO umpire.

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