Standing Up Drills for Wicketkeepers
The great thing about standing up sessions is that they should never be dull: you can create lots of distraction, different spins and bounce types with the overall aim to be to overload the keeper so that the practice is tougher than the actual match.
We still need to keep the drills relative and functional to match play, yet feel free to let that imagination run wild.
Basic Shadow Session
You can't get much better than a shadow session for a keeper. Whatever level you are working at, the shadow session recreates the match challenges for keepers better than any other drill.
Encourage the batter to pad up fully as the session needs to be as real as possible to mimic the movements that a batter will make in a match. A batter without protection shall often bat outside the normal line of the ball and therefore, create an unrealistic scenario that has little relevance to normal match play for a keeper.
If you can, use a cut down bat with a rubber sheet on the front of the bat. means that the batter can play shots with the aim to hit the ball as per normal yet the keeper will get more work due to the narrowness of the bat and also get nicks off the rubber facing. The distraction of a batter swinging wildly, the deflection off of the rubber facing and the noise of the nick is very realistic.
- Ask the batter to play over the ball every now and again as these are the ones that cause keepers most problems as ball vision is impeded. The noise of the bat skimming the floor after the ball has gone past the bat is also a good distraction.
- Batter moving around the crease. This challenges the keeper to adjust his/her stance so that they get good vision of the ball for as long as possible. Many keepers move their stance wider of off stump to get the view and then back their footwork to reach anything down the legside. Remember, you can't catch what you can't see!
- Batter waving the bat in front of the keeper’s eyes. Many keepers will look to either lower their head position in the stance to get the eyes under the bat or get the eyes above the bat by setting yourself slightly higher. When high, the keeper needs to understand that the lower or fuller balls may be a challenge and make the necessary adjustments as they move to cover the line and length of the delivery.
- Use a worn pitch that is just about to be soaked and repaired by the groundsman. A worn pitch will have footholes and follow through marks on it that provides different ball reactions and also a different visual/mental challenge. Shift the stumps left and right to effectively move the rough areas around and create both offside and legside challenges for the keeper.
- Create your own rough. Place cones or even better, some doormats on the pitch to create different ball reactions and visual distractions for the keeper. If you are working indoors then this is the only option really to simulate the conditions that keepers often face when standing up on worn pitch ends.