“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

Knock ‘em down — ‘video game design’ pt1

‘Knock ‘em down’ is a team bowling game, based on the bowling relay drill.

Teams have multiple sets of stumps to aim at, and progress to higher (harder) levels as they win a round — targets get smaller as stumps are removed as the team progresses up the levels.

This is my first game that incorporates the video game “levls” concept – more a gamified bowling drill, but it does seem to engage players more than simply bowling for 5 minutes and counting hits. Continue reading Knock ‘em down — ‘video game design’ pt1

Bowling — back to base

Had a fascinating evening last week, with Steffan Jones talking about the Governing Dynamics of Fast Bowling.

Anyone who follows Steffan on twitter, instagram or LinkedIn will know that he is dedicated to developing fast bowlers, and to developing the knowledge needed for coaches to develop fast bowlers.

It was an absorbing session — so much so, that we only got 15 minutes at the end to play with the wide array of “toys” that Stef had brought along to demonstrate some of the techniques he is using in his own coaching!

Key take-home for me on the night was the absolute necessity of making practice specific to the activity (bowling) and to the performer (bowler).

But for all the inspiration from Steffan’s presentation, it was a couple of almost off-hand comments that might have the greatest impact on my day-to-day coaching practice.

  • The bowler’s back foot must be pointing forwards when the ball is released.
  • Stef has beginners bowl from the “base” position with both their feet already aligned to the target.

Could it be that we have been teaching the basics of bowling incorrectly?

Continue reading Bowling — back to base