I have helped out with a round of squad selection trials over the autumn. An interesting exercise, and I hope to work with the squads in the New Year.
As someone who, in a previous working life, was a certified 30 wpm typist, I have been helping to type up the hand-written coaching notes after a round of trials.
As much (more) for those not selected as those invited to join the “performance” or “development” squads, so they have feedback to take away from the extended trial process (up to four two-hour sessions), to think about and work on with their coaches.
Oh, but the written feedback is so varied, sometimes cryptic, often unspecific.
Which set me thinking about the words we use to describe players, and how we could do better.
I do like a bit of one hand, one bounce. I use it as a gamified drill, to get the players used to playing with soft hands.
Yes, I do think there is a place for a little batting subtlety, even in T20 — a couple of drop-and-run singles just might make the oppo change their field, opening up space for bigger hits. In the recent T20 World Cup, batters were even stealing twos on the huge Aussie outfields, with shots that didn’t leave the fielding circle!
I tried this at the weekend, with a group of u11s, then played a short game to test out the new “strokes”. It nearly worked (most got the idea, but still preferred trying to hit the cover off the ball). but on reflection the game wasn’t quite right (not “representative” enough; not enough reward for playing the drop-and-run).