There is often little time or motivation for club players to practice fielding. That means doing everything possible to maximise what chance you have.
Good practice can give a club the edge. Based on experience and the advice of South African fielding coach Jonty Rhodes here is how you can do it:
- Keep it short and intense. Never drill for the sake of it. The intensity of your fielding practice should be close to game intensity. Do a few drills as hard as you can then move onto something else when the quality starts to go.
- Make it realistic. All fielding practice should reflect closely what happens on the field. Balls hit along the ground need to be attacked from different angles, high catches need to be as high as they are in the game and diving stops need to be followed up by a good return. Well designed drills can help with this.
- Back each other up. Good drills build awareness of shying at the stumps and backing up. A strong fielding side always work as a team. Additionally, the chatter needs to be positive and loud even during practice.
- Have fun. Ensure your practice is fun for all involved. That may mean breaking into smaller groups to keep everyone involved. I often see players standing around for ages waiting for a catch to be hit up to them. Keep yourself doing something as much as you can and spend time working on things you are good at as well as weaknesses.
Most of this requires a good coach or captain to bring everything together, encorage players to drill and keep the team working with the required intensity. You will find it will not take long for your fielding to significantly improve as a result.
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