A Constraint-Led Approach – a new addition to the coaching toolkit?

I am (I call myself) a cricket coach – I work with people who want to play “better” cricket, however “better” might be defined.

In that role, I try to help players to develop their playing techniques, and, along the way, to build individual motivation and resilience.  Occasionally, I will talk with them about (appropriate) physical development – play other sports to develop all-round physicality; don’t build so much muscle in the gym that you lose flexibility.

But I am also interested in how to become a better coach, which has led me to follow a range of conversations and blogs on coaching pedagogy.

I am not going to pretend that I understand the concept of nonlinear pedagogy (yet), and my exploration of socio cultural constraints within coaching probably missed any number of (academic) points.

But a series of posts (including this, and this, both from ConnectedCoaches.org) on applying the Constraint-Led Approach (CLA) in coaching has piqued my interest.  Coaches are encouraged to modify the drill or game to force the player(s) to develop enhanced responses.

Continue reading A Constraint-Led Approach – a new addition to the coaching toolkit?

Bring the ropes in…a conversation with @ballsrightsreas

Interesting conversation with Dave C, aka @ballsrightareas, on setting boundaries for junior cricket.

Should we bring the ropes in, to encourage batters to (try to) hit boundaries?

But risk having games dominated by batters mis-hitting 6s?

Or set the line back, and reward the strokeplayers who can exploit the wide open spaces?

But see games dragged out as young fielders trudge after the ball as it pulls up short of a full-size boundary?

Continue reading Bring the ropes in…a conversation with @ballsrightsreas

Sledging – the missing component from the coaches’ tool kit?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I sometimes used “sledging” as a coaching tool.

This is something I picked up working with an experienced Aussie coach – that the coach can sometimes use a little psychological pressure to focus the player on the challenge at hand.

“Can you hit this one?  I don’t think you can.”

Not because the player will “just have to get used to sledging” when she starts playing.  Not abuse, not questioning the player’s parentage (I work with young players – Mum or Dad will be standing next to the net!), certainly not banal “banter“…but I will tell a batter that I think I have spotted a weakness, and that I am going to put his technique to the test.