Indoor cricket net sessions - week 1.

If you are a Cricket coach and are planning on running a series of Indoor Cricket Net Session, you will need to work out a schedule, prior to starting the first week. It is always a daunting task, when planning for the first time but, if you prepare well, then success will not be far behind. A decent coach or team of coaches, will never just turn up and see what happens. A good coach always plans ahead.

As lead coach it is down to you to formulate the session theme for each week. Take on board the other coaches views and aim to set the sessions, for the standard of players attending. I wrote, in an earlier article, about how to plan a Cricket Net Session. Here, i intend to fill in some of the gaps and add some substance to each session. Follow all 12 sessions and you should have an enjoyable 12 weeks plan.

In my earlier article, i had given each week a theme:-

Week 1, Straight Drive.

Week 2, Catching. High and low.

Week 3, Ground fielding

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.

By giving each week a theme allows the coaching team to see the plan for developing the players, quite early into the program.

Week One - Straight Drive.

Allow 15 to 25 mins for a warm up. Try to make it Cricket related and specific to the drills you would be following later in the session.

This week we are starting with a game of Keep ball. Split the group into two teams of 7 or 8. Give one team a set of bibs to make it easier to identify each team member. The idea of this game is to throw the ball to each other and attempt to have 10 successful catches. Possession changes when 10 catches are completed or if the ball is dropped or an interception occurs. For this drill we use a red tennis ball in place of a Cricket Ball.

Then every player gets their bat and set up a game of Cricket Tennis. There is no net in this game. As in Tennis, have the two teams either side of the imaginary net. Give each player plenty of space between them. Mark out a 2 metre exclusion zone, with cones, along the centre of the court (1m either side of where the net would normally be. Players now play a game of Tennis. The idea of the game is to get the player used to hiiting the ball and helping hand/eye coordination. No shot to be played with the bat above shoulder height.

Now progress onto the main theme of the day - The Straight Drive.

My session plans are designed around my under 15 club side, if you are coaching more or less able players you will need to adapt the session to suit the ability. We go through the basics every year, grip, set up and back lift. This is important, as bad habits can easily be picked up during the Winter break.

We then have groups of 4 or 5 players, 1 Batter, 1 Keeper, 2 fielders and 1 feeder. The fielder are inn a mid on and mid off position. Tennis balls are used for this drill. The feeder baobble feeds the ball to the batter, he then drives the ball along the ground to either mid on or mid off area. Batters have 5 minutes each then rotate. Players will rotate 3 times each.

Key points for the coaches to look for are, feet position at point of contact, head position, balance and front elbow. All qualified coaches will have a good technical model in their mind and this is the building point for this drill.

The drill can then progress, by adding scoring zones and setting a competition between the teams. Most points wins a prize or least points win a forfeit. By adding the competition element, it focuses attention, ensures the feeder is concentrating and providing quality feeds and adds a little pressure to the drill. Remember, all skills achieved under pressure at training are easier to repeat in the pressure of a match. Whatever you do, you need to stress the technical side of the exercise, yes, but, also never forget the reason most people play Cricket.......to have fun. Not there is no use of Cricket Balls in our first week.

At the end of the first session, get your players feedback and then when they have left, invite your fellow coaches to add their own feedback. Ensure all parties are working together and trying to achieve the same goals. It is no good you ploughing on while you leave players and coaches behind. Work together and the benefits will quickly become apparent.

Enjoy week one, let me know if you would add anything to the first session or if you have any comments. I am always open to suggestions to improve my own sessions and look forward to other coaches sharing their knowledge

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