How to plan indoor cricket nets sessions.

We had our first ever, 12 week indoor nets, for our u15's last Winter. This was a big step up from what was on offer in the past. Usually we had 4 sessions, in a local school sports hall, no nets just warm up drills and basic fielding drills. The season then started and we were able to use the clubs outdoor nets before the matches started.

This year was different, as we wanted to get the young players ready, to be able to compete in the adult league.

We had a plan for the indoor nets, that used 3 ECB level 2 coaches and a couple of helpers. We wanted to use the facilities to the max, the hall had 4 nets and was a great place to train. Each week, we practised a different skill.

  • 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.

Every week we worked on the session plan for an hour followed by netting for the final hour. We had one net for the batters to get one to one coaching, before they went in to the main nets, with bowlers.

All of the players improved dramatically. The coaches and players enjoyed the sessions but, i feel we could have done so much more. We didn't start the season well and underperformed throughout. Maybe my expectation was too big, as they are only a club under 15 side, not District or County. Although, there are individuals that represent both.

We have now started planning for the next Winter nets sessions. We are having much discussion about the format. One coach feels we would benefit more if we exclusively used the nets for the whole 2 hours. One feels we over used to nets and should practise drills and introduce the mental side of the game. I think we had the right balance but, didn't get the best out of the players.

Our adult nets, used the nets only, last year and we had more than our fair share 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.

Comments 2 comments

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stwcar 5 years ago Author

Matt thanks for the comment. Since writing this article we have had a change of focus, led by our new chairman of cricket. We Challenge the players with skill based games and are working hard on fitness drills too. The session is split into 3 or 4 sectors but, each week we have one theme, last week it was bowling - spinners concentrating on the off stump and seamers working on line and length. We had no batsmen in the net at first and the seamers were challenged to hit line and/or length, the competition was between the bowlers.

We then introduced batsmen, their goal was to leave balls that didn't need to be played. They scored a run for every successful leave and every correctly played shot. The bowlers were awarded runs for every time they got the player to play and miss or if they hit the pads.

It was a focused session, which the boys found fun and they all picked up one tip each.


Matt Butterworth 5 years ago

I think using nets for the whole 2 hours is not the way to go. Yes use nets, but use them productively. Set the performers challengers whilst in the nets. For example, the bowler can set the virtual field, and bowl to that field, and a plan, and the batsmen need to score runs, taking in to consideration the field set, the game situation etc. Nets are not just for the bowlers to run in and bang the ball in half way, and for the batsmen to have a whack. It needs to be more skilled based. To improve skill, use half of the session for short sided games, focusing on a particular skill. This will keep the performed interested and help them work on their game.

I hope this helps

Matt Butterworth ECB Level 2

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