Last night I ran a fielding only net session for my club.
As it's winter here the cold and dark restricted us to the local sports hall.
Normally we have a net session but I have long been gunning for more fielding practice and Sam, our club captain, decided he wanted the same and asked me to run a session. The session was an hour for around 14 adults ranging in skill from club first to third team. We had the whole hall to train in. All the equipment we had were 4 sets of spring loaded stumps, some bats and balls.
One point of note: even for adults use the soft windballs indoors. The hard surface and cold hands prevented us from using the hard balls.
We started with a simple session as people were arriving in dribs and drabs. I split the hall into three areas like the game piggy-in-the-middle. The object of the game is for the middle team to stop the ball passing through. The end teams must underarm the ball along the ground to get it past.
We then moved on to a few minutes of pairs work. First we did some flat catching then some underarm pickup and return work. To make this more interesting for adult players (who should have the technique down by now) I introduced a scoring system to make it competitive.
With everyone warm and ready we moved on to some more physically demanding drills.
The first game is called 'Hit the Stumps'. The stumps were placed in the middle of the long edge of the hall, the players stood in the middle of the short edge. I rolled the ball out to each player in turn who ran in and tried to throw down the stumps.
We did this a couple of times from each side, the aim being to hit the stumps more than the last round. We then moved onto a classic competitive game. One team were running with bats as if trying to score a quick single, the other team had to run them out by hitting the stumps. This was great as everyone was involved and there was a lot of technical work done at high speed.
One point of safety was to have the runners and the fielders separate so stray balls did not make contact with heads.
We finished with a game designed mainly for conditioning by also for throwing and catching skills. I set up 2 sets of stumps about 30 yards apart with a 5 yard chalk circle around them. The aim of the game is to hit the opponents stumps after 3 successful throws and catches. Players were not allowed to run with the ball or go in the chalk circles.
This game works a little better outdoors with more space to play in but it was a excellent finish. Pairs cricket is also an option here. The feedback I got was all positive and we will be doing some more sessions like this as part of our weekly club nets. I can only see it improving our fielding come the summer.
What about your team, do you do any fielding in the off season?
image credit: Wallula Junction
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