Do you feel guilty about your fielding?

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misfield.jpgFielding is one guilt ridden pastime for most club cricketers. We feel bad because you don't practice it enough even though we know how important it is.

Let's face it, fielding drills ain't as much fun as batting or bowling.

On top of this, the focus professionals have on their own fielding skills has generated a number of new fangled theories to improve further.

Warning: Are you using these 7 club cricket clichés?

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As a coach the cliché; is my best friend and my worst enemy. The easy to digest truism slips of the tongue when working with players, especially groups. But are they doing more harm than damage to players?

Let's take a look at some common clichés and decide.

  1. Never run on a misfield. Richie Benaud still maintains this as gospel truth. The reality is less clear. If the ball goes straight through a players legs you can probably take another run safely. On the other hand it's often best for club players to avoid getting suckered by a fumble. If you are particularly fast and a good judge of a run you can run off a misfield but it's a risky business so if you decide to go only every put yourself at risk of getting run out.

5 ways to think faster on the field

If you have ever captained at any level you know how fast cricket can move even if things seem to be going slowly.

The ability to think fast is vital. If you can process a large amount of game information and turn it into a relevant tactical move in a ball or two rather than an over or two it stands to reason you will win more games.

ECB Batting tips: How to score more runs

pj.jpgOne of my top secret weapons to keeping as up to date as possible is getting the resources from the ECB Coaches Association. If you are an ECB coach you will know what I mean.

Planning an Innings

Firstly, let me say there are many ways of planning an innings! This is just one. You have to adopt a planning process that works for you – that is, one that is successful and you can easily replicate every week. It should be a way of approaching each innings and one that you feel comfortable implementing.

Aussie view: How to get run out

Brisbane cricketer, Simon Eggins is back with his view on club cricket from the other side of the world. This time it's all about run outs.

Running between the wickets is undoubtedly a key aspect of the game, yet for most club players it is something that is virtually never practiced. This being true, it's surprisingly easy for even the best of us to forget the basics and to gift the opposition a run out, especially at moments of high pressure. Though not an exhaustive list, here are a few basic errors that can be easily avoided.

How do you prepare on match days?

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practice.jpgDo you warm up with a pint and a plate of chips or do you have a highly developed ritual on match days?

Research and experience on pre-game preparation is unclear. What works for one player is pointless for another in many cases, although there are some constants we can all benefit from.

Rituals

My own, slightly obsessive, preparation starts early and keeps going right the way through the match. I'm big on routine and feel more relaxed when I know exactly what I‘m doing.

Aussie View: A Third Man – Are You Crazy?

I'm delighted to welcome a brand new contributor: Brisbane cricketer, Simon Eggins. Simon will be providing a regular view on the club game from Down Under. Inspired by a discussion he had with his captain, Simon tells us about the merit of using a third man in the early stages of a game.

thirdman.jpgPicture this situation in a typical unlimited overs game. Your team is bowling on the morning of the first day having lost the toss, and after 15 or so overs when you come off for the first drinks break you check the scorebook to find that the opposition is 1/40 (or 40/1 if you're not in Australia) – a disappointing result given your side's total dominance so far. Your opening bowlers have done brilliantly, getting the ball consistently in good areas and moving it away from the right handers, there's been play and miss after play and miss and balls falling just short of the slips, with only a lone edge going to hand. With the exception of one majestic off drive, very little has been hit successfully off the square.

Do you make these mistakes as captain?

Who was the best captain you ever played under? Hopefully you learned a lot from them. If you didn't you might still be making these mistakes:

  1. Ignoring advice. Advice is a funny thing. There is always plenty around when the team is doing well, but when you are getting soundly thrashed the captain is on his own. Despite this a good captain always takes on as much advice as he can (even if he has to seek it out). Everyone has an opinion and often it's different from your own so consider everything.

How standing up to seamers will win you more games

Have you noticed how much more top wicketkeepers are standing up to seamers recently? It's a useful skill because it will get you more dismissals than standing back. This is especially true at club level where the pace of bowling is slower and the wickets are not as quick. You just need to be sure it is being done right.

When to stand up and when to stand back

Standing up is generally the best option at club level.

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