It’s cold outside…or what to do when you can’t get into the outdoor nets

The senior Club finished indoor nets before Easter, and the 1st XI has been champing at the bit to get into the outdoor nets.  So the news that the planned (and very necessary) refurbishment could not be completed until early May sparked a round of emails and conversations – what can we do for pre-season?

We know that the pros will barely use net practice (going into the nets, with all and sundry queuing up to bowl) at any stage in the season.  If they do bat in the nets, it will be against bowling machine or sidearm/throwdowns, to groove a shot or to plan how best to handle a particular bowler (faster/slower/taller/skiddier than normal).

So not having the nets might be seen as the opportunity to adopt a more constructive pre-season plan, rather than a hindrance.

Continue reading “It’s cold outside…or what to do when you can’t get into the outdoor nets”

Thinking about thinking about cricket…

I attended my first ECB CA Conference in January. It would be unfair to single out any of the presenters for special mention – every session left me with enough ideas to keep me busy into the summer, and beyond – but I did especially enjoy the opening day, which I spent listening to Matthew Syed, Michael Caulfield of Sporting Edge, and Louise Deeley from Inside Performance, all talking about the “inner game”, and how to think about thinking about cricket. And then, on the second day, the key-note from Peter Moores, simply entitled “Winning”.

One theme emerged in all four sessions – the absolute importance of adopting a “growth mind-set”, the belief that improvement is always possible, and that the role of the coach in developing this mind-set can be as important as any technical and physical improvements they can instil.

Continue reading “Thinking about thinking about cricket…”

Book learning

I came back from the ECB Coaches Conference with a long reading list.  Tim Gallway, Steve Peters, Ric Charlesworth, Hippolyte and Theraulaz (if I can find anything of theirs); anything from the sports psych speakers.  Fascinating stuff, and enough to keep me occupied well into next year, I’m sure.

Book “learning” does not work for everyone, I know, but I like to read to be challenged by new ideas, not to confirm existing prejudices.  It can take a while for the ideas to crystallise (see below), but that is half the challenge of learning – if it was easy, or obvious, a new idea probably wouldn’t be that new. Continue reading “Book learning”