You have a vital job as head of the colts section at your club.
Every club is battling for survival; including yours. Even the finest players have to retire. Without a conveyor belt of youngsters coming through your club will die.
It’s a terrifying responsibility.
The best way to handle the pressure is to keep calm and carry on with these ways to keep your club alive:
Focus on fun
Cricket has a culture of “doing things the proper way”. We forget that kids play for fun, not so they can hone the perfect on drive to match the perfect crease in their white trousers.
There is no better way to develop players than to get them bowling, hitting, throwing and catching in game situations. If you set the game up right they have to develop the proper skills but they are enjoying the competition so much they don’t even realise it.
So forget about 15 minute lectures on using the left arm. Put aside the endless drills that seem pointless to an 11 year old. Get them playing some fun, exciting games and build a love of cricket for life.
Qualify your coaches
Many youth sections run on the hard work of parents who do the thankless task to help their children. As a result there are a lot of unqualified coaches doing their best but without a real sense of how to get the best from players.
A qualification changes all that.
Not only are qualified coaches trained in child protection and first aid, they also are taught how to keep kids interested in playing with modern, proven methods.
Sure, the courses are far from perfect and can be expensive but in the long run they make better coaches. Besides, most clubs can get grants to pay for coach development if they look hard enough.
Tie in with local schools
Attracting new players is always tricky. There are a lot of demands on children’s time nowadays. A simple way to keep kids turning up is to link up with local schools.
Most schools will be happy to let you run a “taster” session or two where kids get to have a go in their usual PE lesson. The important part is to encourage them to come along with their mates. Individually kids rarely try something new. However, if the mums get together and make it an activity on the calendar you will find yourself with more kids than you can handle!
Create a cross-club coaching plan
Once the kids are in the system, you need to make sure you have a system.
It’s easy in the heat of controlling kids to forget that you are trying to make progress in batting bowling and fielding. An easy way to stay on track is to create a plan where standards for each age group are set.
So for example an under 9 standard might be to bowl with a straight arm. You know then your job as coach is to make sure all players are bowling properly by the end of your sessions. You can then pass them on to the under 10 coach safe in the knowledge you have done a good job.
As you can imagine, it’s hard work making a joined-up plan from 6-13 year old players. So why not avoid the pain of planning with the Darren Talbot Club Cricket Award?
The award gives you all the standards from under-8 to under-13 age groups, plus a complete guide to putting it into action, including the proven drills and games Darren himself has learned and developed while working in schools and clubs across the UK.
All you need to do to find out more – and get instant access – is to click here.