Following on from the profiling article, this is an example of how the profile is used practically.
I'm lucky enough to work with some very talented players, one of whom was disappointed not to make the Academy cut last year. Following that decision, We sat down and worked through the profiler in January and planned our programme around that initial assessment.
The aim was to make the cut for this year.
The main area in the profiler that required attention was the development of his tactical game and the decisions that would come as a result of enhanced tactical understanding.
The specific profiler areas I used were:
- Batting routine
- Building an innings
- ODI accumulation
- ODI hitting out
- Fielding routine
- Review processes
The player in question is an opening batter so the profiler was tweaked to reflect his specialism.
The two graphs below depict the journey from assessment to assessment throughout the year. Graph 1 is the Player view; Graph 2 is the Coach View:
Assessments were in January (Winter Training programme), April (Pre-season) and July (Mid-Season).
His rapid development was due to focusing on the areas of most significant need; his development gaps. His initial assessment indicated that Batting Routine, ODI Accumulation and ODI Hitting out were areas to really target.
So the programme that we built included the following things:
Building a Batting Routine
Narrowing the focus from the broad (review of previous ball, scoreboard, what others may be thinking, where are we in the game, I must do my homework etc.) through a process whereby the batter ended up having a single focus or an "open awareness" which allowed the body to react appropriately to each ball.
We did this every ball of every session as practice makes permanent with things such as pre-delivery routines. This made a world of difference to his performance over time.
Particularly against spin as this was highlighted in the technical batting element of the profiler (illustrating that combining elements of the profiler helps to build a complete training programme).
We did lots of work on the Merlyn bowling machine initially, then against bowlers. The focus was on the use of his feet and hitting the ball down the ground, along the ground hard to deep fielders. Basically, beating the bowler either side and using the non-striker as a blocker.
We also explored how he could hit the ball over the top to push mid on and mid off back in the first point to open up singles down the ground.
Other shots included pairing up the run-sweep with the "tuck to square leg". This was also important as it guaranteed a single if utilised effectively.
I introduced the back-load technique. This player mastered this and was the batter who effectively won the T20 final with his 2nd ball back-loaded six.
2 further profile sessions, targeted training, some review and reflection, and lots of sweat and tears later, the same player was asked onto his Academy.
So there you have it, a living example how profiling, monitoring progress and building specific programmes can help your players reach their process goals.