How to run an effective net | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to run an effective net

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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At Blackpool, we start at 6.15pm prompt every tues. and thurs.We have a fitness coach (a member of our 1st X1) who does a half hour session of different fitness drills working on stamina, core fitness & sprint training.Then, suitably prepared we go to our nets sessions, with a net for each senior team. These groups are then sub-divided so that 1/2 the members of each team start in the net, whilst the other 1/2 start on fielding drills. We now have a qualified coach working with each team. This provides a complete and balanced practice for all our playing members, nearly all of whom take part. The practices are enjoyable, competitive and productive. When necessary we are also able to use cameras for video analysis, another extremely useful coaching tool.
This is our basic system in a nutshell, with a degree of flexibility of course as required

That's very progressive and good to see Mike.

hi david

the problem at our club is that the players are not keen to work hard enough to get better. they are like our sunday afternoon players. it is hard to motivate the school boys that come through with examples like that

The culture at many clubs is the same. There is no simple solution but I am certain it takes strong leadership - particularly from the club captain and senior players.

There has to be a desire for change and the only way to do that is by key people setting the example.