Grooving that stroke…does music help?

Interesting net session yesterday, working with a batsman to get ready for the new season.  Lots of work on grooving the bat path, a little on developing bat speed.

We were next to a group who had set up a (small) speaker in their net, and played music during their practice.

This could have been a distraction – we generally practice in a controlled (even slightly sterile) environment, where the only sounds are bat on ball, or ball on canvas, or occasionally the slap of skipping ropes and bouncing medballs – but I saw real benefits from having the music playing.

Continue reading Grooving that stroke…does music help?

To sweep or not to sweep. Or – how match regulations stunt ambition.

On Monday evenings I coach a promising young player. He tries to batter almost every ball I throw to him, generally successfully. Drives, pulls, lap sweeps from outside off, reverse sweeps.

Yet when he gets a ball just a fraction outside leg stump, he shoulders arms and refuses to play a shot. Continue reading To sweep or not to sweep. Or – how match regulations stunt ambition.

Good session…so what was going on?

I had a couple of 1-to-1 sessions yesterday.  Nothing unusual in that – I do four or five regular 1-to-1s almost every week – but I came away last night feeling that these particular sessions had gone especially well.

Good engagement, high energy, good questions (all of the above two-way); positive outcomes, clear summary of “learning points” (not too many) and players left with a challenge – “now, go out and try it!”

The players left hopefully having learnt a little, tried something new, and with a clear idea of something they could try in their next game.  They both told me they had enjoyed the hour; as importantly (more importantly – they might have been very polite), I think I saw a few “light bulb moments”, when they understood what I was trying to tell them and realised that it could work for them.

So what was going on?  And, more to the point, what might have been missing from other sessions that were “OK”, but not perhaps as good as last night’s? Continue reading Good session…so what was going on?