Club cricket nets are often wasted opportunities, despite being more popular with players than ever. To make a net more effective for everyone involved, follow my guide to making your cricket nets better training:
How to run an effective cricket net
The key element is to nominate someone to take overall charge of the net. Ideally this will be the club captain or coach, but anyone can do it as long as there is a person in charge.
- Set the tone and build team spirit by warming up effectively before you go near the net.
- Set session goals for each individual (for example, practice driving along the ground or work on slower ball).
- Try and simulate match conditions as closely as possible. Here are some ideas:
Separate nets for seam and spin bowlers.
Have a wicketkeeper in the spinners net.
Only players likely to bowl in a game to bowl.
Bowlers to set imaginary field before bowling.
Use ground markers to help with line/length.
Opening bowlers bowl to opening batsmen with a new ball.
Bat in pairs and have calling and running between the wickets.
Bowlers bowl an over each instead of one ball at a time.
Challenge bowler to see how many balls they can deliver before batsman can leave it.
Set batsman realistic run scoring targets.
And if you want to be really hard: If you are out, you are out of the net.
Also consider playing a practice game instead of having a net. It is more realistic, more challenging and can be a modified to ensure everyone gets the practice they want (for example batting in pairs for a set time). More on various practice games soon.
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