Cricket Coaching Tips
Coaching is perhaps not as important in any other sport as it is in cricket. A very complex sport on many levels, cricket requires some technical skills that players need to fine-tune with the help of coaches. In the modern era, with cricket having three different formats of Test cricket, One Day Internationals and T20 internationals, coaching has never been more important.
This article will provide you with some basic coaching skills and useful game-related tips.
Basic Cricket Skills and Exercises
Cricket coaches prefer drills and pre-match workout routines that mostly include running and simple body exercises. A general warm-up is done for about 20 minutes to reduce the risk of an injury.
On non-match days, conditioning and strength exercises are done to enhance power and maintain fitness. Undoubtedly, it is quite important for a cricketer to be in good shape given the new challenges the game presents.
Skill-based training is usually done by working on the player’s weaknesses, a drill that takes a large portion of the training time. Once the weakness is ironed out with the help of a coach, the player will get into his general training routine that involves practicing across disciplines and roles and even simulated game situations.
Batting coaching tips
Watching the ball is the most important skill a batsman can develop. Even if the batsman is extremely talented and has brilliant hand-eye coordination, watching the ball until the last minute is the most basic, yet truly indispensable skill he should obtain.
Keeping your head still while playing the ball is equally important as the batsman is believed to become more compact when he keeps his head still and watches the ball.
The batsman has to pay his closest attention to the field setting, the gaps in the field that he can exploit as well as to take an innings ball by ball. The basic coaching tip for any batsman is to spend time in the middle to get accustomed to the conditions.
The power game and the touch game are equally important. Hitting two sixes in an over and scoring six doubles reap the same returns. As such, a coaching tip that is very often retold is to have a good touch game alongside a reasonable power game.
When there is a dip in form, go back to the basics of batting, watch the ball and rely on your natural style of batting – front-foot play or back-foot play.
While a proper technique is important, scoring runs matters the most. Every cricket coaching batting tip also implies that a player knows his own game the best and is perfectly able to judge from his own perspective what shot to make or what playing style to adopt.
Bowling coaching tips
Set specific bowling goals such as delivering as many balls in the net sessions to get in the groove. Many fast bowlers would agree, there’s no other way to remain in good shape as a bowler than to keep bowling.
A bowler has to know his exact role in the team and bowl accordingly. A holding bowler isn’t expected to attack and should practice how to cut out the scoring areas of batsmen. Similarly, a good cricket coaching bowling tip is to try and visualise the way you want to bowl before you actually bowl.
Planning an over is crucial for any bowler and most good coaches would help the bowler in fine-tuning his thinking and ability to change plans on the go during the given game situation.
Each ball is an opportunity to put the batsman under pressure or get his wicket. As such, clear and concise planning before bowling and intent while delivering are essential.
Practicing the stock ball is important for any bowler. Every bowler – be it a fast bowler or a spinner – is different and most coaching tips would repeatedly underline the importance of being able to land the stock ball perfectly every time.
Relax and breathe between deliveries in an over to maintain calm and confident and to execute the plan in a perfect way.
Lean your body towards the target while keeping your head still as you run in. This allows you to focus on the length and line you want to pitch the ball in and track any last-minute advances the batsman makes.
Fielding coaching tips
The most important rule of fielding and the mantra most fielding cricket coaching tips would contain is to want the ball to come to you.
Watch the ball closely and show positive intent while fielding. This could mean moving towards the ball, be it taking a catch or doing a bit of ground fielding. The attacking intent you show puts batsmen in confusion when attempting an extra run.
Be nimble-footed and ready to move or dive either way. As a fielder, the last thing you want to do is to be wrong-footed. Maintaining a good stable base and keeping the top half of your body loose is vital for this.
When the bowler runs in, run in with him if you are in the inner circle. Lowering your body weight, pushing forward with your head showing intent and hands beside or in front of the body is ideal for a fielder. The importance of balance on your feet while fielding cannot be stressed enough by any cricket coaching fielding tips.
Practice single and double hand catching, ground fielding and awkward bounces that a fielder can encounter.
Reaction time is important for close fielders. Therefore, practice your reflexes and fine-tune the hands to react nearly as fast as your brain does so you reach the ball immediately.
Focusing while being on the field is rather important because it is easy to switch off especially when the ball doesn’t often travel to you. Tune your body to focus and remain alert even when the ball is not likely to come your way.
Watch the batsman and track his movements closely. Anticipation is the greatest skill of a modern fielder and it is vital that you are well-placed mentally to make your best effort on the field.
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