6 steps to designing your own drills | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

6 steps to designing your own drills

Imagine sitting down at a desk, blank sheet of paper in hand and trying to come up with a brand new fielding drill.

Many give up before getting to that point. Where do you even start? If you do make one up, what if it goes horribly wrong when you do it 'live'?

With a simple process in place to follow, it's easier than you think.

Coming up with your own drills rather than going over the same old ones every week makes things more interesting everyone involved. If you are a coach you keep your players engaged and involved with the variety, if you are a player you can customise things to your specific needs. It's worth the effort.

So sit back down with that blank sheet and follow this plan to coming up with your own drill ideas.

1. What are the general considerations?

Before you even start you need to know the basic ground rules that every drill needs to have. Keep a copy of these considerations to hand when designing your drill so it doesn't go wrong when you go live.

  • Safety first. Your first thought when coming up with any drill is safety. Bats and balls can be flying around so minimise any risks and take out anything that is dangerous.
  • Everyone involved. There is nothing worse in coaching than seeing players standing around waiting to do something. Always keep everyone in the drill doing something and if you have a larger number involved make sure tasks are rotated often.
2. What's the point?

Once you have your general considerations in place you need to ask: "What is the point of this drill?"

Drills fall into one of several categories:
  • Skill development: Learning basic or advanced techniques such as bowling action, sweep shot or sliding stop.
  • Skill practice: Honing or making adjustments to learned techniques. For example, adjustments to a backlift or improving bowling accuracy.
  • Conditioning: Developing cricket specific endurance
  • Speed/Agility: Developing cricket specific speed and agility
  • Games: Adding a competitive element to skill practice

It's important not to mix up these categories as it dilutes the effectiveness of the drill.

For example, you can't learn a new skill under the fatiguing effects of a conditioning drill. It's also unsafe to try and combine speed drills with conditioning drills as the former requires much greater rest times.

On you bit of paper write at the top a clear sentence describing what the drill is for. Examples are:

  • "To learn the basic technique of the long barrier"
  • "To practice picking up and underarming the ball at the stumps"
  • "To improve speed running between the wickets"

You will notice each example has a clear single objective. You may find in designing the drill that other elements come in too, but they should never take away from the main point of the drill.

3. What are the requirements and resources?

Now you have a clear idea of the aim of the drill, you need to think what situation you are going to use it in. This includes:

  • Age and number of participants
  • Location (indoor, outdoor)
  • Equipment

You may be lucky enough to have specialist equipment like a Fusion Skyer or you may just have 20 kids, and a bag of balls of dubious quality. If you design a drill that requires more than you have, you wasted your time because you can't use it.

Also on your paper, make a note of what equipment you have, where you are going to be and who you are going to be drilling with.

4. Start simple

As you have a clear view of the point of the drill and what you have to work with, you can now start on the drill itself.

Begin by asking: What is the simplest way to achieve my objective?

As Einstein once said: "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." So if you can do what you need with 2 people and a ball then why get more complicated?

Sketch or write out the most simple way first. For example, if the drill is to practice high catching all you need is a ball, someone to feed it and someone to catch it.

5. Keep it going

In our throwing example above the drill would not last very long on its own. One catch and the drill is over. So the next task is to build up elements to keep the drill going.

In game type drills this is easy, you just make the basic safety rules and play as long as you like.

With other drills you will have to get more creative. Where is the ball going? What players can be in position to field it? How often do people need to change position to keep the drill going?

In our high catch example, the feeder might have a Fusion Skyer or mini bat and catching mitt to take the return and feed it back up in the air. You now have a simple, complete drill for 2 people.

You can then expand that to a drill for more people like this one.

6. Put it to the test

Finally you take your drill to the practice field and try it out. If it works then you can add it to your armoury.

If something goes wrong then take it back to the drawing board and make the changes needed to get it right. Don't worry if it all fails first time. As long as it is safe and no one got hurt, just revise your plan and take it back out there.

The real key is not to be worried about getting it wrong. You don't need to be a creative genius or impress others with complex manoeuvres. Keep it simple, keep it safe, keep everyone involved and you can start coming up with a range of drill for all situations.



If you want even more fielding techniques, tactics and animated drills from one of the best fielders in the world, check out Fielding: The Derek Randall Way on PitchVision Academy.



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I suggest you post some batting & bowling drills too rather than only fielding drills.

Sounds like a good idea. What kind of thing?

Things like a target practice drill? See this page for some examples - http://www.sportplan.com/drills/Cricket/Fast-and-spin-bowling/practiceIn...

I like the idea but I'm not sure how it could work. I mean a target drill is just "bowl at a target. the end." Batting drills would be "keep hitting balls with a coach helping you refine your technique".

you can give more details and more complicated drills. Ina similar way to the link I gave you, you can post a graphic explanation followed by a few details. Try it!

I'd love too. But I have already done everything in that list on here. If I can come up with anything I'll post it. Right now, I don't have any drills except basic ones for group coaching kids.

Hi, i have just started coaching cricket at a High School, I have a group of beginner cricketers at u/15. Many of them want to be bowlers but do not understand the basics of bowling. i have put them on a course for bowling by bowling slow and telling them just to try and get the action right of taking the arm around the ear when doing so. Are they maybe other techniques that you can advice me on?

My second group is an u/17 group they are much more advanced and many of them are or have the potential to be national player one day. There technique is good all they have to learn now is concentration, confidence and patience.

Thanks for the 6 tips

Hi Albert, I recommend you take a look at Ian Pont's bowling course: It teaches the basics of pace and accuracy with lots of drills to help them get it right.