Last winter we held our inaugural under fifteen indoor nets for 12 weeks. This was a huge leap forwards compared to the past where we normally had only about four sessions, in a local school sports hall, without nets and just warm up drills with basic fielding drills. By having indoor net session it was beneficial since the harsh winter season did not create any obstacle for us our players utilised the nets before the start of the matches.
We aimed to get our young players ready to compete in the adult league hence it was different this year.
We hired 3 ECB level 2 coaches and a couple of helpers for the indoor nets. We planned on using the indoor facilities to the max, there were four nets in the hall which was a great place for training purposes. Every week had a different training schedule as listed below:
• Week 1, Ground Fielding.
• Week 2, Catching. High and low.
• Week 3, Straight Drive.
• Week 4, Pull and cut shots.
• Week 5, Bowling, line and length.
• Week 6, Fielding, catching – Slip and diving.
• Week 7, Straight drives having completed the bleep test first.
• Week 8, Bowling.
• Week 9, Indoor Game.
• Week 10, Players clinics, where each player had specific coaching on one thing they felt desperate to improve upon.
• Week 11, Full nets session for 2 hours.
• Week 12, Bleep test followed by an indoor game.
WE followed the session plan for an hour after which there was netting for the final hour. We offered batters one to one coaching in one net, before going on to the main nets, with the bowlers.
Due to the training schedule all the players improved dramatically. The coaches and players thoroughly enjoyed the sessions though personally I fell more could have been done. We were unable to start the season well and underperformed throughout the season. Maybe my expectation was too high, as they are only a club under 15 side, not District or County. Even though, there are individuals that represent both.
As a result we have now started planning for the next winter nets sessions. Currently, we are discussing the format of the net sessions. One of our coaches feels it would be more beneficial if we exclusively used the nets for the entire 2 hours. Though, another coach feels we over used the nets and should practise drills and introduce the mental side of the game. I think we had the right balance but, didn’t unfortunately did not get the best out of the players.
Our adult nets, used the nets only, last year and we had faced a lot of shoulder injuries, where bowlers were over bowling, due to lack of numbers.
Have you planned a Winter Cricket Program? What do you think the best approach would be? How can I get the best out of the facilities, players and coaches?
Stuart is a Qualified ECB level 2 Coach and has just completed his Club coach award (awaiting the results). He plays Cricket and coaches aswell. His Cricket equipment is all Kookaburra and his bat of choice is Salix.
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