batting coaching cricket player development psychology sledging

Grooving that stroke…does music help?

Interesting net session yesterday, working with a batsman to get ready for the new season. Ā Lots of work on grooving the bat path, a little on developing bat speed.

We were next to a group who had set up a (small) speaker in their net, and played music during their practice.

This could have been a distraction – we generally practice in a controlled (even slightly sterile) environment, where the only sounds are bat on ball, or ball on canvas, or occasionally the slap of skipping ropes and bouncing medballs – but I saw real benefits from having the music playing.

batting bowling coaching cricket practice sledging

Head hunting – another approach to getting more from net practice.

Back in November, David Hinchliffe proposed a novel way of getting the most from net practice, with what he described as the “horror movie” approach. Ā I suggested adding a camera, to give the Blair Witch net session.

I have been looking for more ways to make net practice more competitive, and more realistic, but I don’t think our 1st XI will take kindly to “consequence” nets (5 press ups if you get bowled), and if we implement “if you are out, you’re out” net practice might finish rather early!

So we have been trying the “head hunter” net – setting the bowlers the task of identifying and ruthlessly exploiting any weakness they can in the batsmen. Ā And the results so far have been interesting.

cricket etiquette sledging

The campaign for real sledging – or why there is a problem with moronic chatter

I have a confession. Ā I quite enjoy a little sledging. Ā If the fielding team decide to criticise my batting technique (and I give them plenty of scope for that!) I am generally quite happy to play along.

There is no point getting annoyed, or distracted. Ā A quick response and, 99 times out of 100, back to the game.

As a bowler, I see nothing wrong in letting a batsman know when I think he is lucky still to be at the crease.

AndĀ it is a game (at Club level) and I really believe that a little banter doesn’t hurt it.

For the pros, I guess there is “mental disintegration” as deployed by the Aussies (when they were good enough to win without resorting to this, but played the game any way).

I do believe there is a place for “verbals”on the cricket pitch.

But that does not include theĀ inappropriate, unfunny, just plain boorish chatter, that we sometimes have to endure in the name of “sledging”.

My own pet hates and worst “sledges”

  • “He’s only got one shot” or “he can only play {insert stroke here}” – especially, as I heard it recently, to a batsman who had just cut three consecutive long hops to the boundary, and missed a fourth…what stroke would you like?
  • “more blocks than Lego” – (possibly) funny once, but not any more.
  • “wicket ball!”
  • “your man”
  • and anything with “buddy”…