Timing — when should the down swing start?

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.

Stepping out to drive
Maxine Blythin, Kent Women

In the interests of outcome-based coaching — the ball was hit through extra cover, on the deck, at a rate of knots!

Continue reading “Timing — when should the down swing start?”

“Knock ‘em down” & Lock ‘em up” — first attempts at ‘video game’ style activities

I have been trying out the ‘video game based design’ approach to cricket practices over the last month,  — that the games should be easy to learn but hard to master, and that learning achievement is rewarded by the opening up of new and more challenging ‘levels’ in the game.

I have settled on a couple of games that seem to meet some of the key criteria — I give you “Knock ‘em down” and “Lock ‘em up”. Continue reading ““Knock ‘em down” & Lock ‘em up” — first attempts at ‘video game’ style activities”

Lock ‘em up — ‘video game design’ pt 2

In ‘lock ‘em up’, the batting team earn ‘upgrades’ (more open spaces to hit the ball into) by ‘locking’ fielders into disadvantageous fielding positions by successfully hitting the ball into designated target areas.

It is, in many respects, a gamified version of the old ‘Lord’s game’.  I have played it only with a front foot drive, but I can see no reason not to adapt it to for other attacking strokes.

This game has developed from an idea shared by @imsporticus , modified to include concepts from @davidhinchliffe and @ianren21 — thanks to all of my fellow coaches for the inspiration, and also to @AmyPrice_10 et al. for the theoretical underpinnings of sports coaching informed by digital game design.

Continue reading “Lock ‘em up — ‘video game design’ pt 2”