Using the bowling machine — what are we looking at?

I spent a couple of hours on Saturday feeding a bowling machine for U13 trialists.† Some had clearly batted a lot against a bowling machine (some were simply more accomplished batters), but it was notable how some simply weren’t lining up the ball properly.

It has been reported how the delivery method (bowling machine vs. throw down vs. live bowler) can influence how the batter plays, so performance against a bowling machine might not be indicative of how a batter will perform under match conditions.

Which set me thinking about how a bowling machine could be made more “representative” of a live bowler.

Continue reading “Using the bowling machine — what are we looking at?”

Making warm-ups more engaging, more fun, more relevant; introducing Zoom, Schwartz, Profigliano

Fascinating thread from Philip O’Callaghan aka @Mr_Tennis_Coach on the importance of the warmup.

If you use it right, the warm up is one of the most important parts of the session.

But coaching courses do a terrible job showing you how to make the most of it.

Philip O’Callaghan

Philip’s thread provides some activities that go some way to achieving this aim, including a cricket example — the “batminton” game.

I love the thinking behind this warm-up, but it might, perhaps, be a little too technical for a general warm-up, or to use with younger players.

But the challenge, to achieve more in the warm-up than simply preparing the body to move, is valid.

So what could we do?

Continue reading “Making warm-ups more engaging, more fun, more relevant; introducing Zoom, Schwartz, Profigliano”

A question of skill in sport — learning vs. acquisition & development

Is learning facts the same process as developing a new skill?

If it is, then (perhaps) academic pedagogical principles transfer to sports coaching.

But if skill development is a different type of “learning”, does the coach need other techniques?

Now, I currently have little to base this feeling beyond my own experience of learning. And I have to admit that my own learning might well have been sub-optimal!

But learning facts (school, university) always felt very different to developing a new (sport) skill.

Continue reading “A question of skill in sport — learning vs. acquisition & development”