Ellie Johnston is one of many female cricketers at the Australian Cricket Institute (ACI) who’s had a successful 2017/18 season.
The 15-year-old Ipswich local started off with a couple of ducks, which she wasn’t too impressed with, but worked on her game preparation and scored three half centuries; one in her first game.
What used to take her 150 balls now takes 80, and with a career best of 69 runs not out, it’s clear to see why she was successfully recruited to the Queensland U15 women’s side.
(Ellie Johnston Sweeping).
“It was pretty exciting, and it was nice make new friends and go to Adelaide; that was fun. They’re a good group of girls,” she said.
Johnston also captained her rep team Darling Downs South West Queensland to an undefeated state title, and won the premiership with her club side the Ipswich Logan Hornets, in the Queensland Women's Premier Cricket Competition.
It hasn’t always been easy easy for the young gun as she struggled with playing off the back foot against fast bowlers. But with a continued aim to improve, her hard work in the nets means she has adapted her playing style.
“I usually rely on my leg glances, but they put players there so I won't be able to get runs off them behind square. Now I’m working in the nets to face more live bowlers and get on the back foot a bit more. I’m also working on having quicker hands and developing more options to score,” she said.
Perspective has also been a huge indicator of Johnston’s game plan, saying the coaches at the ACI really opened up her thinking patterns.
“They gave me another view of cricket; they don't tell me the same thing over and over again like other coaches do. They gave me a new way to think about things and look at my technique closer,” she said.
ACI Head Coaches Joel Hamilton and Nick Fitzpatrick noticed Johnston’s improvement and say that her dedication to the sport with take her far.
“Ellie has been a pleasure to work with over the past 12 months in our program. Her commitment to getting the best out of her time with us has been fantastic, and I really think it’s shown in her performances and results,” Hamilton said.
Incorporating game scenarios and drills into ACI training sessions and camp week ensure players can identify barriers and set goals for the upcoming season.
“Our aim is to really provide a program and platform for players to understand the game and learn from experiences that they encounter on the field so they are more confident when they get put into these positions during the heat of a game,” Hamilton said.
(Ellie Johnston sweeping)
Johnston has big goals for next season including scoring a century, being able to rotate the strike consistently against good bowling, and show that girls do have the strength and ability to show up the boys.
“Being a part of the ACI program allowed me to show the boys that I can do a bit more than them, and beating them in some of the challenges throughout the camps was really fun,” Johnston said.
Author: Kara Bertoncini