I posted a Teesra Talks podcast on this topic a a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t think it had many listens, and the format doesn’t really invite any responses. If you have listened, there is not much new in this blog post. But for everyone else — some thoughts on making a game more relevant.
I have been experimenting with the 360 Challenge from Chance to Shine (see below), but with a couple of modifications intended to make the game more competitive and to try also to teach something about actually playing the game of cricket.
I do love playing games, but I worry that sometimes the skills developed don’t always transfer obviously to “the real thing”. And I want to enthuse youngsters (and anyone) to actually want to play cricket, in any of its formats.
Hence my attempts to tweak cricket-based games and gamified drills to make them more like cricket (or, at least, to teach skills, tactics, or general awareness, that might transfer to the game of cricket), and less like games for the sake of games.
Working with an experienced batter over the last couple of sessions on “timing”, and encouraging him to hit his drives even harder.
I have been suggesting that he tries delaying the downswing as long as he dares, to create greater bat speed at contact.
I came across an interesting paper that identified some of the key timings of “skilled” batters (see below) — significantly that better batters appear to more consistently coordinate the initiation of the bat downswing with the completion of the front-foot stride — but this image perhaps captures the delayed downswing better than any words could.
Hands still high, wrists cocked with the bat raised beyond the vertical, weight transferring dynamically into the stroke, as the front foot is just about to land.
In the interests of outcome-based coaching — the ball was hit through extra cover, on the deck, at a rate of knots!