Categories
batting coaching

What do elite batters do? Why not ask their coaches!

Fascinating article from Connor, Renshaw & Farrow on batting expertise from the perspective of elite coaches.

Rather than an analysis of the technical and physical actions, the paper looks at the mental process of batting, following the scheme I first encountered from Greg Chappell, of shifting focus from the broad before facing each delivery, to fierce as the bowler approaches, before relaxing again between deliveries.

In this paper, Connor, Renshaw & Farrow highlight the crucial contribution of what is described as “The Plus”, what goes on between deliveries, where the elite batter is able to reflect on what has just happened, recalibrate and revise expectations and intentions and then relax, before switching back to the intense focus needed to face the next ball.

So it’s not enough to be technically highly competent, tactically aware, physically fit, and to maintain that rolling focus for the duration of a long innings. Even in the “down time” between deliveries, the elite batter will be calculating the next challenge, the next advantage.

No wonder I sometimes struggle to hit the ball off the square…

Categories
coaching cricket

Language — help or hindrance?

Challenging question — do the words we use to explain sometimes get in the way of understanding?

We use a lot of words in cricket. And a lot of them mean exactly what we mean them to mean…

What is a “front foot defensive stroke”? Or a “pull”?

Sometimes, we only confuse when we explain.

Categories
coaching cricket culture philosophy session planning

From a “holistic approach to talent development” to suggestions for grassroots coaching

I was very taken by this infographic from Alex Lascu, and the thinking behind it.

It captures so much of what I believe is good about current coaching practice, but also sets a high standard for “talent pathway” coaches to aspire to.

There was some discussion on Twitter of the applicability of the advice to grassroots coaching.

One senior coach commented that he believed that most clubs ran a “talent” development programme, even if that wasn’t the label it was given. We are all looking to find and develop talented players…although, for some of us, “talent” might be the ability to mix with team mates, to muck in and get things done around the club, rather than bowl at 85 mph and hit 90m bombs, 360°.

I believe strongly in a joined-up development pathway, with best practice and ideology shared across the game, from Test to primary school. It makes sense (to me) if we all (Performance/Talent, Development, Grassroots) followed a similar philosophy.

So what follows is my attempt to re-position Alex’s guidelines Very specifically for the grassroots coach.