Make Cricket Practice Constructive with this Boxing Drill

This is a guest article from Matt Thompson, Cricket Performance Director at Cardiff Metropolitan University. For more of Matt's work, find him on twitter and read his blog.

Picture the scene. It's time for training. You, as a batsman, have your regular opportunity for a constructive practice session with your coach or fellow team mates. Before you put your pads on, consider what does constructive actually mean? What does it look like for you?

Too many times at club, academy and university level, "constructive" takes the form of the batsman playing a glorious array of inappropriate shots without a game context in mind, inevitably squandering their wicket on a host of occasions.

I would be lying if I said I’ve never had one of these before myself as a player!

That is not constructive. So what is? Following on from David's article on having clear goals at open nets, here is one example of what "constructive" looks like.

Is it Time to Stop Inexperienced Bowling Machine Feeders Delivering Short Balls?

Filed in:

Coach Gary Palmer wants to know your opinion on how to train playing the short ball.

Are we pushing the boundaries of safety?

It's time to stop inexperienced and underage people feeding short pitched deliveries on bowling machines.

The Surprising Lessons Learned From This Crazy Batting Experiment

When you strive for the edge you hear a lot of new ideas. "Sensory development" is one of these ideas. On the PitchVision Academy Cricket Show we often ask questions like, "Does eye training really work, or is it a myth?" and "Can we improve our communication methods by removing our auditory systems?"

All very good questions, but when I tested them, in a series of training sessions recently, I wasn't interested in answering any of these questions.

What was I doing?

How Much Does an Effective Batsman Understand Technique?

Good batsmen have good technique (whatever that means). But how much do you need to understand technique to be a good batsman?

It's certainly not the same thing. There are plenty of players who do well without worrying about playing right forward, without a straight back lift, without even hitting straight. They play, they score runs, they get on with the rest of their day.

3 Batting Technique Myths You Can Stop Worrying About

Everyone's a cricket coach.

Or so it seems these days. Advice comes from every angle; coaches, family members, the internet and even passers-by calling out. That would be great if it all matched up, but most of the time it is in direct conflict with another piece of advice.

Then there are the myths and clichés on top. The advice that sounds good, and makes the advisor sound wise and clever. In fact, it's based in no more evidence than it was overheard on TV. So it must be true for everyone, right?

It's enough to make you go back to bed instead of picking up the bat and dealing with the swirl of advice in your head.

So, here is some clarity for you: Five simple bits of advice we have all heard (or perhaps even given) that don't make as much sense as they seem. Once you know that these things are not always true, you can get on with getting back to the simplicity of hitting the ball with a clear mind and a confident outlook.

The Benefits of a High Intensity Batting Academy

This is a guest article from Gary Palmer about the benefits of an intense Academy, and how you can join CCM Academy to get your fix of intense training.

Intensity will make you a better batsman.

When I say "intensity", I don't mean how angry you get. The Hulk is intense, but he can't bat. For me it's all about focus. At CCM Academy we pay meticulous attention to detail when it comes to constructing technique and developing skill levels. You can only do that in an intense academy environment.

Repetition over long periods of time makes a huge difference in developing and achieving high levels of skill, especially batting. Subjecting players to batting for prolonged period of time is paramount in developing focus, concentration and mental strength.

Dare You Use This Terrifying Batting Drill?

This is a guest posted drill from Laurie Ward of Complete Cricketer Academy.

This is the most terrifying batting drill you will ever experience. We call it "The Nazgul" because in Lord of the Rings, nothing is as scary as a Nazgul!

For the coach, it brings out the inner sadist. For the players, it's a way to work on hitting the ball into the right areas, even when you are exhausted and just want it to stop. It won't because there is no respite.

And also for that reason, we are careful about who we put through the pain. We do this with older junior and senior players with a of fitness and cricket, and some signs of mental strength. To help with motivation - which you will need - we have a league table and benchmark the levels.

So what is this awful experience?

Use the Imaginary Tunnel to Boost This Batting Style

Have you noticed that some batters set up differently?

Bent knees and a slightly wider base are notable in Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Smith and Gary Ballance. They move completely differently. Their movements don't relate to those coaching words and terms that I have often been exposed to in during my 22 year coaching career.

How do you coach players like this when they struggle with technical issues?

How to Prepare for a Cricket Trial

Trials are unique: The feeling of nervousness on arrival, the pressure of your first delivery and - hopefully -the feeling of excitement as they crunch a pull shot from the “big lad”.

Here are a few tips. They may not revolutionise your stats at the end of the season, but will install a game plan, or a little structure to your trial. Possibly taking you from a player who just missed out, to the one that snuck in the back door.

Study Reveals Why You Played That Stupid Shot... and Why You Can't Believe You Did It

Jordan Finney underwent research into the mental side of batting. In this article he explains what he found in his study, and how you can apply his findings when you are under pressure as a batsman.

What does the batting powerplay tell us about cricket at every level of the game?

It is obvious that increasing the number of fielders placed in 30 yard circle will cut down singles and make boundaries a more effective way of scoring. There should be no reason why batsmen cannot clear the 30 yard circle at least.

Yet since the introduction of the batting powerplay, it has been more effective for the bowling side, with the number of wickets taken during this period increasing noticeably.

This provided me with food for thought for my study.

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