A part of my role with the Australian Cricket Institute is to help design the most ideal training environment to encourage our player’s personal growth and development; as well as skill acquisition with the bat, ball, in the field and in the mind! It’s been a pleasure working across many Melbourne metro academy pre-seasons this winter. It’s wonderful to see our players learning how to give their best, I’m certainly still learning many lessons on the way! 

So let's have a chat about that;

Coach Learnings

One key take out I carry with myself throughout my coaching and mentoring, as well as my own personal training, preparation and attitude in life are that we must make mistakes in our training in order to develop.

Too often, we get caught up in perfecting the art, nailing each shot out of the middle of the bat or presenting the perfect seam each delivery as a couple of examples. Ever felt the frustration when it's ‘just not your day’ with the bat or ball?

This is such an innate part of our game, that we get hung up on far too often rather than embracing it. 

 

Mistakes Happen

Making a mistake is a vital progression in learning as a cricketer and growing as an individual. Recently, a young academy member, a talented pace bowler, came across this situation during pre-season.

He couldn’t land his stock ball and was being hit all over the park in a scenario net session. He wasn't used to this, he seemed quite bemused with what was happening. Yet after his self-identification of the issue and discussion with a coach to devise his own plan, he had a clear vision in his mind of what he needed to do to rectify the situation.

This gave him his best opportunity to put in practice and execute on skills our academies have been teaching.  The end result was that he was able to develop his own understanding of the task at hand even when confronted with an uncomfortable situation. 

 

It's Up To You!

Coaches can’t be out there in the middle with their players. I would prefer to see our players have difficulty grasping some concepts and help them by exploring their own capabilities within, rather than offering them a shortcut or an easier option.

The thought process a youngster goes through identifying when something is wrong and finding his or her own mechanism to be able to solve this is a key indicator for progress in cricket training and personal development.

That same young fast bowler then knows how to tackle similar issues head-on and won’t be making recurring mistakes or form bad habits with his training. 

Let's Break Down the Process

For common issues faced on the cricket field, the process we teach our players enables them to handle the pressures themselves! 

  1. Identify the Mistake (self) 
  2. Plan of Attack (discussion with the coach, ask questions) 
  3. Execution of Skill (do your best!) 
  4. Review (seek advice and be honest) 

Without noticing our mistakes, our training has limited structure and finding the next facet of your game to work on can be difficult.

Ask yourself if you’re really getting better, or are you just randomly hitting and bowling balls? Review every session you do, however simple, to guide the next step on your journey. 

Australian Cricket Institute coaches ask ‘why’ or ‘how would you?” and prompt our players to access their own skillset to overcome a challenge. This promotes a neutral environment where mistakes are encouraged.

We compete in various scenarios to discover the mental tools we need, so competition isn’t as daunting out on the field as it would seem. 

 

What Are You Waiting For?

My advice? Make mistakes! See what sticks, do your best to throw yourself in tough situations where you need to problem-solve.

I can assure you, constant growth in this area along with your developing skill set as a young cricketer will take you to the next level, much more effectively than being told what to do will.

We’ve talked the talk, now let’s walk the walk! See you out on the park this summer.

If you'd like to check out what we've got coming up at the ACI visit >> Upcoming Events & Programs

Author: Seb Contos - ACI Coach & Clinics Coordinator 

 

Everyone knows that one keeper at their club who goes against the grain with some interesting wardrobe options. Their off-field fashion usually is a testament to why they get it wrong standing behind the stumps on a Saturday. You shouldn’t be able to gain an instant reputation from the clothes you wear however when it comes to wicket keepers it’s a different story. Here are a couple of token wardrobe mistakes that keeper make in which has the opposition and rest of their club talking.

1. Short Sleeves

You can’t wear a short sleeve shirt as a keeper, it just looks bad!

With your big gloves on your hands there needs to be a better contrast from gloves to shirt. Keepers have the beauty of not suffering from a cricket shirt tan yet those who wear a short sleep shirt have to suffer even more.

Come on boys and girls get a long sleeve!

 

2. Long Skins Under Short Sleeve Shirt

If you don’t have a long sleeve shirt to wear as a keeper, we all know that guy/girl who wears long sleeve white skins underneath their short sleeve shirt to try and cover up their wardrobe blunder.

It looks quite unorganised and extremely hot and uncomfortable. Once again, get yourself a long sleeve or otherwise just save the skins for winter.

3. Floppy Hat

The famous floppy hat!

Well moulded, stained with sweat and smelly. Designed for our fast bowlers who steam in all day in the heat and need that extra bit of shade and relief from their labour.

Not made for wicket keepers!! Do wicket keepers even sweat?

Keep your baggy cap on please keepers, look the part!

4. Pads Inside Trousers

The last time I checked, pads were made to go on the outside of your trousers to protect your leg. The new craze of wearing keeping pads underneath your trousers is a trend that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

It inhibits the keeper’s ability to move well because their trousers have to move all the way over their pads. And once again, it just looks terrible.

Any more you can think of? We'd love to hear!

Anyway, I'm James Bazley...and those are my thoughts!