According to the ECBCA, the ideal number of people in a net at any one time is 6. I don't know about your club but on a busy practice day where I play we have way more than that jostling for a bowl and a bat.
The simple answer is to incorporate some fitness work into you practices too.
Of course, we want it to be fun as well as beneficial to our game, so how would you structure a session to meet these needs?
The first thing to do is ask yourself the following questions:
- How long have you got to train?
- How many players are in attendance?
- What equipment do you have available?
These resource questions are vital for you to define what you are going to do. With all the will in the world you are not going to be able to do heavy weight lifting if all the equipment you have is some cricket balls.
Once you have your limitations you can start to build in some specific work. Your individual sessions should fit into an overall plan. This is based on the following factors:
- What do you want to work on this week?
- What is the current fitness and skill level of the players?
From this information you can plan your session.
For detailed information about session planning please contact me. If I get enough requests I'll do a full post on the topic.If you are an ECB Level 2 or higher coach you should have a good idea how to do this anyway.
This planning stage is very important but is often overlooked. Even if you are just planning your own training it is important to have a guide to your goals and that is where planning comes in.
So what would a typical session look like?
Example training session for outdoor nets
- Time available: 1.5 hour.
- Number of players: 12 (various fitness and skill levels from intermediate to advanced club).
- Equipment: single bay net on a practice wicket, practice balls, cones, stumps.
- Session goals: Skill work for batsmen/bowlers, fielding skills, work capacity and injury prevention.
Warm up (20 mins)
Its best with adult players to do a warm up that can be joined anytime by late comers. Do some general mobility and pulse raising work for 10 minutes and finish with a simple fielding drill that ensures no one is standing around for too long.
Main Section (30 mins)
After warming up the players can split into 3 groups. Players should be rotated around the groups to ensure they have 10 minutes in each section.
- 4 bowlers in the net, 1 batsman and 1 padding up.
- 3 players doing various fielding drills.
- 3 players doing various fitness drills in a circuit designed to increase general strength, work capacity and reduce injury.
Game (30 mins)
The best way to structure a practice game is to play a variation of pairs cricket. The batsmen will ideally be those who did not bat in the nets and they will be set individual scenarios to play against. 10-15 minutes per pair with a specific target in mind should be perfect.
Cool Down (5 mins)
As well as clearing away and stretching out, the cool down at the end is a good time to discuss how the session went and plan what will happen at the next session with individual players.
Of course you can customise this as much as you like, but the structure and the plan is the important part. That way you can combine different skills to come up with a session that can benefit everyone.
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