Hit the reset button! Introducing learning opportunities (for batters) in games-based practice.

I have been catching up with the winter programme of iCoachCricket Live, the webinar series for ECB Coaches Association members. Not all of the presentations resonate with me, but there are some nuggets amongst the chat.

In the course of a discussion about the ECB CA’s new “Unleashing Potential” framework, there was some mention of how coaches might make better use of “games-based” practice by modifying the playing conditions to challenge the batters’ tactical (and technical) development.

Of most interest (to me) was the concept of the “reset button” — if a pre-specified shot or tactic fails and the batter is dismissed, she can “press the reset” and have another go.

The reset option was presented in the context of a 2-day practice game, with players well advanced in the development pathway, but I could see it working equally well in most game-like practice sessions, even a competitive net session.

The batter gets to define a stroke they want to practice, and can play their reset option if they are dismissed trying to play that stroke.

This sounds like a very creative learning opportunity.

The reset offers the chance for players both to try out new skills under (almost) match intensity and to address the challenge of selecting appropriate “risks” to take, both ahead of the game (choosing your resets = developing a new stroke or tactic) and during the game (deciding when to deploy that new stroke).

Definitely something I would like to try out (with the right group of players, of course).

My one caveat is the impact this will have on the poor bowlers, who might have to dismiss a batter three times before they finally see the back of her!

Where is the equivalent learning opportunity for the bowler? Could they call a reset if that back-of-the-hand slower ball comes out as a slow full toss?

It is important that all of the players in the group are given the chance to “play” to develop new skills.

(My other caveat regards the 2-day format. Unless the days are truncated, or the squads include lots of all-rounders and/or bowling substitutes, the bowlers could face an excessive workload. Two consecutive days of bowling, with batters allowed another chance (or three), means a lot of overs for someone to bowl.)

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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