The 5 Immutable laws of coaching kids' cricket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The 5 Immutable laws of coaching kids' cricket

Despite all the recent innovations in coaching, some things remain constant.

I have been a coach since 1994 and have taught kids at almost every age and skill level. Long ago I learned that to be a success you need to do certain things. You could be standing in front of 40 8 year olds or trying to get the most out of an elite group of under 16 Academy players. These are the immutable laws of coaching kids' cricket:

1. Be safe

The coach has to protect his or her charges. The boring but important stuff is critical. Know some basic first aid. Have access to a phone for emergencies. Insist players wear helmets when batting and keeping. Always check your coaching area and drills for potential hazard.

Safety also extends to knowing how much work your players can do. Young fast bowlers are usually very keen to bowl and can go past the point of safety. When fatigue rises, technique drops. This increases the chance of injury.

2. Have fun

The overwhelmingly biggest reason kids play cricket is to have fun. This is especially true at younger age groups. However, even at the most serious level if a child is not enjoying their game they are more likely to drop out and do something else. They may be lost to cricket or even to sport.

For this reason every good coach ensures that fun is the second priority after safety. That means doing more than endless skill improvement drills and mindless nets. You could do something as simple as add a competitive element to drill or go as far as letting free play reign for the last part of your sessions. (when was the last time you saw a coach set up a game of tape ball for example?)

That's not to say you should never drill or net. It's just important to make sure everyone is involved and never standing around for too long during these practices. One of my personal pet hates is seeing a coach giving a long coaching lecture to a batter in the net while half a dozen bowlers stand around waiting for them to finish. My preference would be to either wait until they are taking off their pads to make some suggestions or take the bowlers down with me and involve them in the coaching process by asking them to analyse the player.

3. Think long term

If fun is the short term focus, the long term focus is to develop players to their maximum potential (although you can't have one without the other).

While this potential will vary greatly from player to player, it's the coaches' responsibility to get the most from his or her players. A lot of this side of the game depends on the coaches' philosophy. Some may feel that winning games is the highest priority but I would disagree. It might be nice but winning is not the ultimate aim for young players. If you focus on development the wins will come eventually.

Coaches who think long term look to make the most of every player by:

  • Creating athletes who can run, turn, jump, throw, catch with skill.
  • Letting everyone compete in practice and real games
  • Spending time developing the ability to cope under pressure through practice matches as well as real games
  • Developing techniques that will see a player through a full career, even at the expense of short term gain.
  • Working on a wide range of tactics not just techniques.

The famous Australian coach Neil D'Costa once told me he was perfectly happy to sacrifice a player scoring lots of runs at a young age to make sure their technique was sound. As they got older and stronger the technique would allow them to play at a better standard. This is excellent advice.

4. Play fair

Respect is an important part of the game. In recent years some respect and fair play has gone out of the game. More umpires decisions are questioned and there is greater animosity between teams.

The coach has a responsibility to ensure his or her team are playing fair at all times. If you impress on your players that the umpires' decision is final and the opposition are not the enemy then they will be likely to follow your lead.

This is different from encouraging your players to play hard and try to win. It's when the competitive desire spills over into the unacceptable that we need to stop. It's not a sign of your competitiveness to insult an opposition batter. Young players will take bad attitudes into adulthood if it is not stopped early.

5. Balance praise and criticism

Tied closely to fair play is how you deal with success, effort and failure.

It's rare for a player to be trying to fail. In most cases it is the opposite: They are trying so hard to succeed that they end up getting too tense: Trying too hard. To criticise this player may end up in them becoming even tenser.

That's why you need to become a student of people. Understanding your players personalities will allow you to get the right balance between praising effort and criticising failure. Some may respond well to you telling them that not to worry about failing while others need to be read the riot act when they do something wrong so they steel themselves the next time.

The key is to know how your players respond to different approaches. Getting it wrong can set a player back, get it right and you will push them forward.

If you are a coach, or a young player I would be interested in getting your views. Leave a comment in the box below.

Image credit: spacial mongrel

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I am an 18 year old and where I live (michigan, USA I practice with an Academy that has a bunch of young players with a lot of talent ranging from 12-18 years of age. I joined last year and as an intense cricket player/fan I was very dissapointed with the way the coaches ran the practices, in fact I should say that there were almost no coaching going on!!! EVER!!! Anyways, I feel like we are just wasting our time at practice and every practice has become just another practice. This year I told them that i would run the practice sessions to actually improve ourselves. Although i know what to work on and how to work on them, I would appreciate it if I could get some advice from any coaches/explayers on setting up and organizing our net sessions to better use our time.
Thank-you very much

I am a qualified level - c coach (BCCI) India and actively involved in coaching. i fully endorse The 5 Immutable laws of coaching kids' but in practicality very few coaches follow these. The reasons, as for me, may be coaches are worried about the results to prove that they are good coaches where as the coaches aim should be to focus on the process rather than outcome. i am sure if all those who are involved in cricket coaching follow the above guidelines keeping aside fear of failure, we can produce better cricketers.
Thank you

agree with all the above,however,lets consider that all junior cricket is based on age,this causes problems for the coach who needs to DEVELOP the new comers along side the more advanced players.
having fun is directly related to being good at it and winning,to many parents i have spoken to fun is something they said can be had in the back yard when mum,dad and grandad get to join in,cricket practise is a little more to them than that especially as they are paying for it.personally fun is drilling an aspect of the game and then coming up with a fun way of practising it(a points system always works for kids)
heard a parent say recently "he's got good technique but will never get it off the square".which probably means he'll drop down the batting order,how many peaple watch the batters technique before they watch where the ball went? not many i fear.
i agree with the aussie coach but many wouldn't.
have witnessed first hand the poor progression shown by coaches,over a fifteen week period i could not link one session to the next,never once saw a session plan and don't believe there ever was one,this was the typical "wing it" attitude i have seen for the last three years of being involved in junior cricket.
i'm not bitter(though sound it)i just don't believe in the "don't rock the boat culture i have come across in this wonderful sport.

Attitude is a big part of the game, however I do feel that the concept of fair play and respect is lost on a lot of people. I've been involved in youth (5 - 14 years old) coaching for 5 years now and the words that come out of those kids' mouths is sometimes just plain shocking! They'll be swearing at each other, calling each other names and laughing when someone drops a catch. To be honest, I think that sort of behaviour at that age is hugely inappropriate and I will not tolerate that during my sessions. I feel that coaches (in the Netherlands) are not paying enough attention to this matter, which results in kids having egos that far exceed their ability and think that they are bigger than the game.

Do any other coaches see the same at their club and how do you correct that problem?

half way through a session during the drinks interval we always do a talk on life,mostly this covers respect for all regardless of race ,colour or creed,but also how to be successful at what we do through effort,on the field,in the classroom,at home and being a good citizen,there is alot of focus on peer pressure and how the type of friends you choose and the type of friend you are will have a long lasting effect on your life,one of my favourite saying is 'if you can't change your friends,change your friends'.after about three weeks of saying this the players finally got it,peer pressure can be negative but also positive but it must be created by the coach,hope this helps erik.

my coaches are quite useless, wen im batting, all the instructor does is either a "watch ur pick up" or a little groan then "good shot". the only way iv known the amount of shots i do is because i look up batting on the internet, and i never find the nets boring. i love it, no worries about fielders, all you have to worry about is he ball coming at u and the willow in your hands. i love it.

Dear Sir,

Have a good day,

My son have crossed his 4th year and he plays bettor cricket (Batting) while compared even to yelders of him.As I am a district level player I can smell some spl skill within him.His foot work surprises me and playes some drive like shots, strokes etc.. (Not in bowling. Just throwing some what difficulty). If he is propperly trained he can shine wel.

Sir, kindly suggest me wheather this is the age we can send him for coaching or not. If so what best I can do to bring him up being in coimbatore.

Your suggestions may put him in right path. So plz do reply with your valuable comments.

With thanks


Dear Sir,

Have a good day,

My son have crossed his 4th year and he plays bettor cricket (Batting) while compared even to yelders of him.As I am a district level player I can smell some spl skill within him.His foot work surprises me and playes some drive like shots, strokes etc.. (Not in bowling. Just throwing some what difficulty). If he is propperly trained he can shine wel.

Sir, kindly suggest me wheather this is the age we can send him for coaching or not. If so what best I can do to bring him up being in coimbatore.

Your suggestions may put him in right path. So plz do reply with your valuable comments.

With thanks


vinod hi,i read your comments above and in my experience which is excactly like yours,it is not always a good idea to allow a kid so young to mix with older boys. he may have the cricketing abilities but does he have emotional control and is he coachable?,when he gets out does he cry ? and when you try to instruct him does it take you more than one time to get the message through ? if so then just keep playing with him until he can handle it as a coach is unlikey to watch him the whole time. if you go ahead then it may be damaging to his confidence.

Dear Vinod,

I think we need to get a few things straightened out here. As your his father, you only have ONE role to play in your son's life and that is to support your son in whichever adventure he embarks on. It is a coach's responsibility to determine whether or not your son is ready for training with older boys.

If you don't trust the club coach to develop your son's potential, then I suggest you look for another club. Even at the age of 4, a good coach will guide him along and help him develop the necessarry skills.

I see it happening all over the place; parents who take on the role as coach towards their child. This is a fundamental mistake as you are not his coach, you're his father.



In the parent's eye, what you say makes sense. However, a 4 year old child does not have the ability to make those kind of distinctions.

When you're 'coaching' your child, have someone ask him who is coaching him. He'll most likely answer: father, daddy, anthing along those lines.

That shows you that from the child's perpective, he is being coached by his father. He won't/doesn't see you as his coach.

For his development and the relationship with your son you're best of by enrolling him into a club that at least has a coach with proper credentials.



Are you serious? You have the whole group call you dad??? Those children have their own father! How is this working out?

The point I'm trying to get across is that an adult can only have one role in a child's life; whether it be a coach or a parent. Under no circumstance should an adult asume different roles. To avoid this situation in the future, move him to a club with a certified or professional coach.

I agree with the relationship foundations though!




okay,did the call me dad thing last week,they found it hilarious and so did my own boys. it's a hit.

Hahahaha, glad to hear that it's working for now!

Ideally, one wants the best teachers for his child, even though they may be hard to come by, it is in everyone's best interest to seek the maximum.

Please be aware that the day will come where your son will say: 'I don't want you to coach me anymore'. For your relationshipship's sake, please listen to him.

David, what's your take on all this?

erik hi, agree,the only time i feel i've let myself and my kids down is when i sent them off to state school rather than public school where all the cricket is played,
however i've studied the game and all topics relating to it well, and continue to do so in the hope i can pass on this knowledge to my boys and to all the children at our club. in my view most parents/coaches don't do their homework and so become pushy parents,and that is what we are all wary of.

we are in a relay race and i'm running the baton to my sons in the whole hearted hope that they grab it and head off as fast as they can,it's nearly arrived as my eldest made the county u11 squad this season,he's got the baton.

come on david,what do you say?

I can relate to certain posts and it is encouraging to know that we have a platform to interact. My kid has crossed 4 this October . He loves playing cricket. In fact i m playin with him since last 2 years now. Initailly it started with a small plastic ball and a bat with underarm bowling from near and then far. Since he was 3 , i started playing with him with a soft ball (regular throwing )and since last 6 months we are playing with a tennis ball. I must say that he has developed a good footwork ( mostly plays the shot on the front foot). He is keen to hit six on each ball as it started like that ( for fun , hitting the ball outside the wall of our compound) . He learns preety fast and recently i taught him to hit cover drive. But he tends to forget easily and when we start playing all shots are in the air either straight or on the onnside. I recently visited a academy and went him with for 2 days , saw him taking the coaching. To my surprise age group is upto 8 years. He has batter stance-grip, handeye co-ordination and footwork then all the other kids around. But in 2 days he got bored as in 2 hours coaching he gets only 15 minutes to bat. Its more of runnning and catching. I observed at 2 other academies as well and it is the same story. I dont have any option but to coach him myself. I keep on telling him that when we play i am his coach. So when it is his batting...i am his coach and when he bowls( can harldy do a bowling action) he is my coach....similarly with catching practive. We give each other a chocolate(kiss) when there is really a good shot ( ground shot) and whenver there is bad is a small punishment of doing famous hamstring stretch by touching the toes.....we both follow the same. He enjoys playing with me...but know i am teaching him front foot plaid. it is very boring for him..though i m trying to teach him. M making sure that in the process his backlift remains the same. Have ordered a DVD for coaching( as i m not a professional player, though used to play in college days ) . I want him to learn all the batting shots in next year. I want to make sure that he develops technically correct stylye. I would like your help and support in the same.

You are a proud father! Keep it fun like you are trying to do.

Remember there is more to developing a cricketer than playing cricket. The best players are active in a variety of ways. Perhaps another sport (hockey, gymnastics, athletics, martial arts?) or even just going out, riding a bike and climbing a tree!

Dear Sir, Thanks for your kind words. Its really encouraging. He is learning tennis as well. He likes to play any ball game where he can hit the ball.In morning we play cricket and in evening he learns tennis , After dinner at night , we play various games with a softball inside the house---like hitting a mark, hitting on the wall and cathcing etc. I m going to try a new thing where i will get some white softball and write a numbers on it. I will ask him to catch on 1 pitch, Before catching he has to say the no.written on the ball. I just want to make sure that he develops concentration and sees the ball when it is about to be released or just released from my hand where it pitches and adjusts his body accordingly and catches. I m just trying to do what i can with little knowledge i have. M just concerned that he does not develop a wrong technique which is difficult to improve once he gets older. I am also making sure that i dont overdo it or impose anything on him. I have my ways..if he is watching a TV..i will take out a soft ball and start playing on my own..and then he stops watching TV and joins me. Any other advise would be most valuable and appreciable. Regards

Dear Tejas,

Your son is lucky to have a father who enables him to participate in sports as much as you do. By the sound of your words in the previous two posts, I get the impression that you want him to make a career in cricket. To be honest, I see parents such as yourself on a day-to-day basis at my club and they cause more grief than they think. (please do not take this personally, but as a heads-up in general)

As I've said before in this topic an adult can only have one role in a child's life; whether it be a coach or a parent. Under no circumstance should an adult asume different roles. Especially for a 4 year old who can't tell the difference between a parent and a coach as he doesn't know who does what. He might say that he knows, but his brain cannot make the distinction. In a situation where parent and coach have different roles and the kid has a bad day with his coach, he goes home to complain to his parents and the parents comfort him. Where's he going to go in your situation where coach and parent are the same?

It's the goal for cricket academies to develop players. You need to have faith in them to look after your child and develop him into a good player as they have knowledge and skills to deliver such an environment for your child to flourish. To add to David's post, any activity that a young child is involved in, will develop different skills as children are pretty quick learners. At this stage in his life, development of motor skills is more important than playing from the front foot.

Hope this helps you!

Love this topic, and love your comments Erik, BUT, was at an Academy just two weeks ago where a father had paid a substancial anmount of money per session for his son to learn to bowl, during a drinks break the academy coach said to me that the little boy would never become a cricketer,(but they continue to take his fathers money)this is one of many occasions at different academy's.
Erik did you never help your children with their homework or learn to ride a bike etc etc, we all assume a number of different roles as a parent, can you imagine being a SINGLE parent?

Erik, I disagree with your view that a Parent should not also be a child's coach: especially at this age: it does absolutely no harm, and indeed its a lovely thing and should be encouraged. The far bigger problem these days is parents doing absolutely nothing outdoors with their children at all. So when someone comes along who is doing a nice thing with their child - why discourage them?

While I accept your general point about the development of 'motor-skills' in young children it again seems very pedantic and PC to say kids and fathers can't have fun together trying to hit 6's or being given a little fun motivation in mastering one particluar skill or another (eg getting on the front-foot). If they are enjoying it, then its fine... its not like anyone here is advocating drilling a 4 year old for 6 hours a day on playing off drives. its a bit of fun that both the child and the parent can be proud of.
I think all the posts to Tejas's posts are far too negative.

Erik, you make a good point - that interfering parents can do more harm than good. However, I think parents can coach if they do it in the right way. The problems happen when a parent thinks they can do better than the coach and the child ends up with different advice in each ear!

Agree there David, no matter what i do or say i make absolutely sure it doesn't conflict with what other coaches at club or county level,i am always making sure the others know what we are working towards, this way we are all doing what's best for the player, so as a club coach i feed back to the county coaches and as a county coach i feed back to the club coaches and the parents are always kept in the loop.

Eric, thanks for your comments. I m not at all taking it personally. I agree to your certain points. My kid has just completed 4 years. What do you think is the right age to put a child in cricket coaching according to you . One of the academies here told me 6 years, and other 2 academies told me that they take even 4 years kid.I took my kid to the academy and he got frustrated as in 2 hours there was hardly 10-15 minutes to bat and moreover the most important aspect , he know the stance , grip, backlift and followthrough. They are just teaching that rightnow with underarm bowling. I also agree that if a parent who does not know righ techniques may end up teaching something wrong which may difficult to improve at a later statge. What do you think i should do. I have thought that i would put him to a academy when he is 6. I have 2 more years where i can play with him and try to teach him some basics. It would be great if you could guide me on how to proceed?

Dear David, i see what you are conveying and thats the same thing i am worried about that i dont give him wrong advise. Could you please tell me what should i do for 2 years with my kid before i put him for a coaching. Because where i live, there are harldy any good academies and i dont think that they teach properly ( As a kid -12 years old, i had also joined one of the academy for a year and ended up frustrated---Reasons: i was a good batsman--captain of school team and a fast bowler---Same routing 10 minutes of batting and then exercises---just to teach a forward front foot defensive shot--i ended loosing my natural backswing and its impossible for me to hit six now. Bowling--I was bowling very fast for my age and rather then promoting me to different age group- i was aksed to bowl spin for a timebeing and i ended up loosing my action and more i tried to get it back - i ended up bending my elbows for pace which resulted in throw bowling) ...I am afraid for various reasons and want to give him the best . It would be great if you could guide me.

Honestly, at the ages of 4-9 the magic comes in having fun.

Everything else stems from doing 'fun stuff'. Yes, some of it might be technically incorrect but it doesn't matter. As long as a child is moving, learning about balance and coordination through play and getting the awareness of the enjoyment of running, jumping, hitting and throwing then the rest will look after itself. I discuss it here

Problems occur when a youngster is forced to become too specialised in cricket too early. There is no need to focus on cricket alone until at least the age of 14-16. Certainly under-9 there is no need to do more than teach the basics (both left and right handed) and just go and have some fun exploring the world. Don't formalise it too much.

Tejas, you are clearly a passionate and loving father, keep this passion and enjoyment while playing with your son and you don't need anything more (not for a few years anyway).

David,Thank you so much . I have gone through the articles. They are excellent.I discouraged him twice when he wanted to play lefthand for a fun.. Its great interacting on this platform and i would definately keep you posted on the developments as well as seek your guidance when needed. Regards

I'll be back next year with some comments and tips. In the mean time, read this article and decide for yourself which road you want to take with your kid...

All the best wishes!

I'll be back next year with some comments and tips. In the mean time, read this article and decide for yourself which road you want to take with your kid...

All the best wishes!

Tejas, David advises is correct, however none of us have seen your son play, he maybe an outstanding player who will be held back in an academy, just having to wait your turn is time wasted, the very best players go one on one but still play academy.I had ecxactly the same experiences as you and now my son plays county u11, he got there at 8, he loves cricket and we love him, the harm is done if the love dies.

An honest confession....i really became obsessed since last month when i saw a video on a utube of a 4 year kid playing amazing cricket shots....I wanted my kid to play like that and i know he can do the same if trained properly. I am not going to put any pressure though but just wanted guidance on how to make him play like that... would like your comment after seeing that video. You can see that video by clicking
Awaiting your response. Regards

Dear David, I also want you to comment on the above post. Thanks

not impressed, don't compare the boy with something from the internet, he's your son, unique,special,one of a,have fun and let him become the player he want to be not the one you expect him to be, byt the way are you in the uk ?

I'm horrified by that clip. I wouldn't be too surprised if such early specialisation left that child either injury-laden or without a passion for cricket. Or both. Someone give that boy a bike and a mate and tell him to get out more!

Thanks David for your comment. Wish you all guys a happy and prosperous new year. I am based in India.

Hi Eric
I am a 13 yer old leggie
i play senior grade cricket
as well as with the
juniors under 15
After reading this article
i was curious if should play with
kids my own age.
My coaches reason that
(not trying to be immodest)
i can play better than kids my age
and not many 13 year old keepers can keep to
a proper leggie with all the variations that i have developed.
My dad says it will help me reach my potential to the max

Your opinion on this would help greatly

Hi Ramis,

The first question is: do YOU WANT TO play with kids your own age? Answer that question without anybody's advice in the back of your head. Just close your eyes, ask yourself the question and the answer will come to you. If the answer is yes, than go for it and enjoy it!

Don't be fooled into thinking that you cannot reach your potential if you're playing U13 cricket. Each and every level holds its own challenges and will help you develop different aspects of your game. If you are as good as you say you are, you will accept the challenge ahead and enjoy it!

Finally, don't discard your coach's advice just because he's not saying what you want him to say.

Hello David. Hope the new year would have started positively for u. I have taught my son(4 years and 4 months now) to go on backfoot and hit on the legside..... He is doing exceedingly well. We are playing daily atleast 50 balls.... He has now started taking interest and whenever we are watching a cricket channel....he is asking certain questions.... M trying to keep it fun as you suggested...thnx for ur suggestions... just posted on the forum to see that if there are any more articles posted..

Hello, I have recently started coaching before 1 year. I am a district level cricket player from India. I have a small ground in our residential area where I give coaching to kids from 4 -14 years. I have 2 nets dedicated for net practice. I have divided the group in age of 4-7 , 8-11, 12-14 . Though there are 2 exceptions in the same because of their Skill , Height and strength. I am impressed with 5 immutable laws. I agree that fun is the factor why most kids play cricket. Our daily routine is Stretching , Nets, Fielding Practice , Cool down exercise. On Saturdays we organize matches between this kids. Once a week we skip fielding practice of half an hour and watch small highlight of any game and then discuss on the same. My main concern is kid from 4-7. We do not take them to nets as they are too young for that. Their routine is a bit of stretching then frontfoot defense and drives , Backfoot defence and Punch, Fielding and catching according to their level and then again a bit of stretching. What I have observed that in this group of 10 kids, during batting and after that they have to wait for atleast an hour or more after its done. We used to have 14 kids but 4 of them have left because of the same reason. The problem is I have only 1 assistant coach who takes care of this kids. I supervise the older guys. I was thinking of adding some other sport into their daily routine which can be played with softball and asking one of the older guys in age group of 14 to supervise that . Could you give me any more ideas on the same so as to make them enjoy the entire process. I have seen most of the kids enjoying the Fielding –cathcing, Warm ups and cool down exercise. Its only that wait for 60-90 minutes make them feel bored. What should I do?

Dear Sir,

I have two sons both of them are very small. when they will be 6 to 8 years old, i am planning to put them in club where they can get cricket coaching. Will you pl. name me the club where this kind coaching are offered to small kids. Pl. reply me on




My son is 5yrs old and loves to play cricket...we encourage him alot..can we send him for coaching...what is the right age for cricket coaching officially as he does it daily with his father...can you help me out ....


I would say there is a place for well rounded activities at that age. Cricket can be part of it but at 5 there should be a wide range pf physical skills being developed. At this age its all about getting good at running, jumping, throwing, hitting and other basics. Specific skills can wait.

LTAD suggests no directly cricket specific activities until 10 years old. Focus on the fundamentals until 8 years old at the very least - running and jumping, catching and throwing, and "natural" striking of a moving ball (so no coaching the straight drive). Also work now on agility and balance will come in very handy later.

I'd say you could still coach cricket (I'm slightly dubious of the evidence that LTAD is a model that is gospel), but broadly I agree AB.

Yeah, a game of cricket is fine, although I wouldn't want to get too technical, like teaching specific shots at this age. What age do you think is appropriate for teaching the bowling action?

You could start the process at 4 or 5 easily, but you could easily leave it to much later and still develop a good action. I've coached 8 year olds the bowling action and the better ones pick it up well. But we don't obsess with technical perfection.

No cricket specifc activites until 10 years old?! I find that idea byond ludicous! Do they seriously preach that?

It's slightly vague in that it discourages specialisation in ANY sport until about 11 (in boys), however it doesn't specifically advise avoiding sport-specific stuff either. The point is to build a base of movement through a wide range of activities.

I can see where they're coming from, its designed to encourage the enjoyment of sport combined with all round physical skills that any athlete needs.

Lets face it, 8 year olds don't naturally want to dwell on detailed technical aspects, they just want to play and have fun. The motivation for learning the perfect technique for an off drive is more likely to come from pushy parents impatient for quick results.

Polished, technically correct 8 year old cricketers do not necessarily translate to adults who excel at or even enjoy the game. I'd much rather have an enthusiastic, physically talented, but unpolished 8 year old with a "natural" (ie well developed) eye for hitting the ball cleanly.

Remember the LTAD is a largely untested model. It's used as it is seen as being the best there is. However, due to the large time scales involved it is difficult to put to the test.

I guess it mainly depends on the kid but at 5 I would be encouraging a wide range of activities, not just cricket. Would also not get to in depth with anything. Just them the player enjoy the game without worrying too much about anything else. Simply learning to run, jump, balance and improving hand/eye and co-ordination will be more than enough.

Hi David. I am posting after a long time. Re:LTAD... i had referred to the same. My son is now 5 1/2 years old. His summer vacations( 2 months long) is starting soon. He plays cricket and Table Tennis with me daily for 15-20 minutes at home. As stated by you in earlier posts.. i am trying to keep it fun . He goes for Skating daily since last 6 months and now he has got bored with it. He now wants to join Tennis because one of his friend is joining . I just wanted to know that accrording to your earlier suggestions as well as LTAD. Specialisation should start after 14-15 and till then they should play various games. I think he will go for cricket and Tennis . Is it safe as well as alright to play both simultaneously. Will it hamper his technique in cricket at a later stage??

The second query is Rather then teaching him playing specific cricket shots at this age is it ok .. to model that with a Target and ask him to hit between them( Like two cones) to develop a particular cricket shot??

Tejas, it sounds like you are doing the right thing. Plenty of sports will develop his all round physical skills, it will not harm him at all.

Target practice is a great and fun way to measure performance over time. It works for adults, teenagers and young kids because you can see the results instantly. Help him with a few pointers and let him work out how to "win" the game.

Respected sir,
How are you.this article is very nice,tips are encourageable.

Hi David. Hope you are fine and doing well. I thank you for all of your earlier suggestions. My Kid is developing well. He just won the Sportsman of the year award in his school. I am also planning to record a video of him playing cricket and send it to you soon . David, LTAD suggests participation in atleast 3 other complimentary sports to cricket for boys ( 9-12) . Which other sports will qualify for that?? Looking for your quick response as always. Regards.

Tejas, any sport will be fine, it all works to cross-develop skills. Team sports like hockey and soccer have a nice crossover but anything that develops athletic speed, strength and timing are good in my book.

I would also prefer badminton as well

How does badminton help??

Think about it - cross court movement, hand-eye co-ordination etc

All sports have a benefit in some way but you have to be open minded.

Tennis a great sport for cricket from what I've seen, at least anecdotally. Boys (and girls) who have never played cricket smashing the ball around the park. Sure, their technique was lacking but the ability to make contact was there.

I would also advise using the LTAD with care. It is an unproven model. All players are different and some will need to specialise earlier than others. I know that high performance tennis players will start to do 10-15 hours a week of tennis from the age of 10/11 upwards. The greatest improvement in cricketers I've seen is when players are practising for a minimum of 4 hours+ at a 10/11+.

Hi Sir,

My son is going to be 12 years old by first quarter next year. He plays both Cricket and Tennis and he is doing good in both sports so far. He actually plays in U13 and U15 categories in Cricket. His batting skills are very good according to his coaches. He also keeps the wickets with his decent reflexes and good flexibility.

On the Tennis front, he is good too. He makes it to quarter and semis in most of the tournaments of 12 and under categories with the ability to beat the finalists at times. He strokes the ball very well and nicely covers the court.

Keeping the sporting ability on one side and the risks associated with the sporting career in general, we as parents seek some counselling to help him chose one sport. As he is growing the pressure on studies is also growing. Now a days he spends about 6 hours a week tennis and about 4 – 5 hours a week cricket training the respective sports.

Though he is a good at cricket, being a team sport, he needs to secure a spot in a team and perform to reach to a decent level. If we think of it logically, it appears to be daunting tasks as a no. of things have to fall in place to make it happen.

We feel choosing Tennis may be an option as it is a kind of individual sport, good chances of making it to a decent level. Also if things do not work too good, it might help him secure admission into a decent university in US / UK to further study and play the game at university level.

He is also very good at studies so far and stands out in top 10 in a decent school.

To cut the story short, we are confused to guide him to choose a career which helps him build a good future. Appreciate suggestions.