“The Horror Movie” Net Coaching Method

David Hinchliffe started a LinkedIn discussion on what he calls “horror movie” net coaching.

…watch your players [in the nets] closely…say little but…log the information as you go…

Then, after the quiet, you pounce on your victim and give the key feedback after he or she has batted.

I have just recently started winter nets with our club 1st XI, and have adopted a similar method (saying little/nothing when a batter is in the nets, but saving any comments until after the session), with the addition of a camera to capture video.

Given my rather shaky camera technique, perhaps I should call this the “Blair Witch Project” net coaching method…

If I spot a technical point that I think needs looking at, I ask the bowlers to concentrate on a particular line or length (engaging their competitive instincts, as they try to exploit a batter’s perceived weakness), then film a few deliveries to play back to the batter when he comes out of the net.

Review takes no more than a minute (if I can remember how to replay video…).  And with the players I am working with, my input at this stage has been minimal – the batters have seen the relevant technical points with little prompting from me, leaving the coach to devise an appropriate intervention.

The beauty of video is that it can be replayed (perhaps annotated using a video analysis app) with the batter before he bats in the next session, and reinforced with a short drill or well-placed “statement of intent” e.g. “hit the cut into the ground” or “play the on-drive to mid-on, not mid-wicket”.

Then, aside from a reminder before he goes in to bat, leave the batter alone for a couple of weeks to work out how to put the advice into practice, once again tasking the bowlers to concentrate on attacking the technique.

Video again, and review the before-and-after shots.

Coaching bowlers

Developing technique for bowlers should probably be taken out of the nets (or at least to a net without a batter) and, especially for quicks, might need more intervention from the coach.  Your quicker bowlers’ workloads need to be managed, especially for younger players, so it is important that they don’t “waste” deliveries by bowling without a specific target in mind.

But the “observe – analyse – generate feedback” model still holds – it is just the timing of the feedback that changes.

Published by Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB level 2 cricket coach; ECB National Programmes (All Stars & Dynamos Cricket) Activator Tutor; Chance to Shine & Team Up (cricket) deliverer; ECB ACO umpire.

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