cricket player development

Wot, no schools‘ cricket?

I coach in local State schools — some Chance to Shine with KS2 (7-11 yrs old), some work with girls in early KS3 (11-13). All with the intention of introducing the wonderful game of cricket to children who might never have seen the game, or if they had thought it was only for grey, old, men.

(No sniggering at the back…yes, I have looked in the mirror, recently — if there were other coaches, more relatable role models, I wouldn’t be there. There aren’t, yet, so the yr7 girls get me…)

And I (and the other Community and freelance coaches delivering CTS and Team Up) do it in the knowledge that once we leave, the children might not get to play cricket again in school.

How do we keep young players coming into the game, when the game now barely exists in the State education sector?

coaching player development podcast session planning Teesra Talks TGfU

Teesra Talks — Play, Review, Play, Review…and Repeat. A review

The latest edition of Teesra Talks : Play-Review-Play-Play…and Repeat — a Review takes a look at an alternative session plan I have been trying out with our u9 softball squad this autumn.

The original blog post, referenced in the audio, is here.

Teesra Talks are hosted on, and are also available as a subscription podcast from various distribution sites.

coaching constraint-led approach cricket Games based learning player development

Last man standing – another game for the coaches’ kit bag

One of the games we play with the Colts at our Club is ‘Last Man Standing’ (not to be confused with Last Man Stands). It’s a lot of fun, with batters and fielders fully engaged, and in spite of the very simplistic rules there are a number of learning opportunities embedded in the format.

Batters come to the crease in rotation (as in racing/relay/carousel cricket) – if they get to the bowler’s end without being dismissed, they return to the line of waiting batters to have another go; if they get out, they join the fielding team; Last Man Standing is the winner.

Players quickly come to appreciate that there is more to batting than a perfect forward defensive or a reverse sweep.

[aside – no, I don’t directly coach either stroke.]

  • Placement into gaps and fast running are as important as technique, very often more so.
  • Players have to develop (and refine) tactics – do they block and run, or hit out for the open spaces? The latter can work well early on, when there are fewer fielders; less so as the outfield fills with a dozen or more of their team mates plus coaches and parents.
  • The game introduces competition (and can be brutal – we generally play ‘if you are out, you are out, no ‘first ball grace’, no ‘three chances’).
  • Fielding can be especially fierce – fielders enjoy trying to dismiss their teammates, and, with no penalties for overthrows, players are encouraged to (try to) throw down the stumps from any angle.