Greg Chappell is a big fan of focussing on the outcome rather than the process of batting skills. Our friend Kelvin has been back in touch with me with a batting problem. This is what he said:
"Have been playing some cricket recently and have found that my feet are being quite lazy and that i'm edging quite a few deliveries in the nets. The feet just won't move. I've got a pretty big stride but i seem quite content to stay and play everything onthe backfoot. Any tips to stop this?"
I immediately thought of a drill that Greg Chappell has developed to help with issues like this, so here is my reply:
"That would be very difficult to diagnose without seeing what is happing in real life I'm afraid. But here is a drill from Greg Chappell that seems to work quite well in similar cases."
Remdial Batting Drill
Training area: Tennis court or wide net or something similar.
Intent: Have player focus on the ball and the outcome rather than on how to do it.
- Soft-ball such as tennis ball or similar, bat and gloves and cones
- If it is possible to get a ball that is a bit heavier and not as bouncy as a tennis ball it is preferable but a tennis ball will do.
- Set out the cones, or similar targets, square of the wicket either side and either side of the bowler/thrower.
- If the tennis court has segments of fence square of the wicket to just in front of square between point and extra cover and between square leg and mid wicket each side that will do and between the net post and side fence will do for the straight targets.
- Have each batsman face 12 balls and have them aim to hit each target 3 times in turn.
- The thrower should take a walking step or two to replicate the rhythm and timing of a bowler.
- The thrower should nominate which target to hit and throw the ball to assist the batter to access the ball in that area from front foot initially.
- The batsman should be encouraged to watch the ball and intend to move towards it until forced back by the length and just respond and hit the target. Two-toned balls can be used to assist the focus on the ball.
- As they become more proficient have the player nominate after the event, which colour was facing as it left the throwers hand. As the player becomes more proficient, mix up the throws between full and short with the thrower still nominating targets.
- The further the player progresses they then get to choose which targets to hit. The coach can judge when the player is ready to move to more difficult challenges.
- Once the player has progressed to a satisfactory level with throw-downs it is time to move on to bowling while still keeping targets in place and still encouraging the player to hit to targets or target areas.
- If there is more than one player keep it fun and moving fast and introduce competition to the sessions by giving the players scores for hitting target areas and switch them over 6 balls at a time. The more competitive it becomes and the more fun it is the more of a learning experience it will become.
Have you tried this drill? If so, let me know how it works for you.
If you want to learn everything there is to know about batting, check out Gary Palmer's interactive coaching courses. Gary is a coach with over 20 years experience teaching players to become first class cricketers. For the first time he has put his drills online, only at PitchVision Academy.