David Parsons is the ECB National Spin Bowling Coach: A job in which he is entrusted to develop a new generation of spin bowlers for English cricket.
He is also a technical and theoretical whizz, always looking for creative ways to give players of all disciplines the edge.
One key factor of this is improving your decision making ability through coaching.
This is an aspect which is often overlooked by coaches and players alike when looking to work on weaknesses in their game. After all, you may have edged the fast bowler not because of poor technique, but because you should have left it alone.
In the 2006 ECBCA yearbook, Parsons came up with a suggestion to develop drills where decision making is a key aspect.
Here are three ideas you could try at your next training session:
- Batting Decisions. Have a ball fed to you of driving length. You need to decide whether to hit it through 1 of 2 target areas. The first gets you 10 points (say between the stumps and extra cover) but if you miss you lose 5 points. The second (between cover and backward point) gets you 5 points and if you miss you get 2 points.
- Bowling decisions. In a similar way to above, set 2 target areas to bowl at and outline the match situation (ie. bowling at the death). The bowler must decide to take a greater risk or 'play safe'.
- Fielding decisions. Again, make 2 options available one a risky shy at the stumps, one a safer return to the keeper.
There is plenty of flexibility in designing drills like this, so see what you can come up with yourself. It may make the difference out in the middle.
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