I ran an ECB Level III Fielding module yesterday which is always great fun.
The cohort had a wonderful mix of coaching experience ranging from coaches who running grass root programmes through to coaches leading their teams into World Cup Qualifiers on the International Stage: An excellent opportunity to share ideas and no one has a monopoly on ideas, do they?
I always break the large group into sub groups of 5. They are tasked with discussing their personal coaching philosophy and seeing what parallels, synergies or contradictory views they have within in the group.
What key points do you think underpins excellent fielding performance?
What are your coaching statements which support your beliefs – One of my fielding catchphrases is “If you don’t give it a go; You will never know!” – This relates to risk taking in the field. Always have a go at a catch, if there is a 10% chance of a dive at square leg saving a run, then do it! If there is a chance of a run out then throw it. What are your fielding catchphrases?
What would your fielding sessions look, sound and feel like if I came to watch you coach?
Show me a drill that best represents what you have just told me.
After 20 minutes of discussion, a spokesperson delivers their key points and the group run their “representative fielding drill”. Its great fun.
Group 1 were brilliant yesterday. Their effervescent spokesperson delivered the key points with massive presence and passion.
Desire/Want to field/Passion/Wanting the ball
Fearless - Have a go, then Promote confidence. Even if someone does not succeed.
Huge levels of Physicality and in particular, Mobility.
Unity - working as a unit each ball and supporting your team mate. Fielding is not an individual game!
Here is the fielding drill that they came up with to best represent the thoughts of the group.
Once we had watched the drill through to completion, I then asked the onlookers to assess how it looked in relation to the key elements of fielding coaching that they had heard.
Coach #1: “Spot on, they nailed it”
Coach#2: “Hit every point they came up with”
Coach#3: “Simple but perfect. That would be a good warm up or competition drill”
Me: “That drill is super simple, could be developed through progressions and was totally authentic against the key coaching points. Love it!”
One handed catching with preferred hand
One handed non preference hand catching
Bounce feeds (two hands and one hand)
Ground ball feeds (two hands and one hand)
Fall to ground and then pop up (using press up onto feet) half way across your transition from one cone to another
Different sized balls (Small football and tennis ball being used at same time
10 perfect rounds against the clock or against another team (to build pressure).
The best drills are the simple one that you then build progressions into.
Ask your coaches or alternatively, your players to discuss their philosophies about fielding and then develop a fielding drill which best represents those thoughts.
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