coaching cricket Games based learning player development practice

Jail-break cricket – another variant for CGBL

Here is a game variant that can be used to encourage players to apply a specified batting technique in a practice session.

We call it “jail-break cricket” – players are challenged to hit a ball to a specified target area to release team mates who have been “sent to jail”.

The game encourages the batter to play a particular stroke, so could work well as the final, modified game in a whole-part-whole session.

It also teaches team spirit (it is amazing how quickly the “jailed” players come to actively encourage their batting team mates) and introduces the concepts of responsibility and consequence – if you are the last “free” batter, you really do need to try to hit the target to free your team mates; if you are dismissed, you go to jail, and if the last batter does not release his team mates the innings closes.

N.B. I did not invent this format, but have only adopted (and adapted) it from others.  But it works so well I wanted to share it.

coaching Games based learning practice psychology

2014 – nearly over (2): CPD – coaching “children” and “young people & adults”

Over the last few months, I have been working my way through the new ECB CPD courses for level 2 coaches.

The new courses are presented in two distinct streams – Coaching children and Coaching Young People & Adults (YPA).

Interesting, though, in the light of my experiences this year coaching players aged 3 and 63, that the “Coaching children” workshops all look to be just as important for the YPA environment (13 and older) as for children.

coaching cricket Games based learning Good cricket player development

We all like to play games…so why must practice be so dull?

We all love playing games.  Or we wouldn’t spend our summer weekends on the cricket field, and our winter evenings in the nets.

So why, when we practice, do we revert to formal instruction?  Left elbow high, alignment, 5 minutes with the bowling machine delivering leg stump half volleys to really groove that on drive.  Why don’t we play, more?

If I am honest, one of my motivations for becoming a cricket coach was that I enjoy playing (cricket and most games). “Giving something back to the game” and earning a living are important drivers, but passing on the enjoyment of playing (and being able to play more games myself) is an important part of my self-motivation.

Since qualifying, I have perhaps been inhibited by the need to demonstrate the value of structured coaching, to players, parents, even to myself. Which is why I am keen to follow the lead of the ECB Coach Education and introduce more cricket games-based learning (CGBL) to my sessions, with players young and old.