Not such a clever day. I'm still trying to come to terms with post holiday life and the fact that the amount of practice I do is dictated by several variables. It's even harder when I'm now aware of Peter Philpotts insistence that if you are going to get good you're going to have to take your practicing seriously. So as with today I eventually was able to get out on a field at 3pm today and had to take my sons along with me. Initially they were going to disappear off into the woods independently and make camps there, but came back within a matter of minutes saying that their camp had been crapped on and in by foxes - which something they do in these parts. So just as I was preparing to get in the zone I had to bowl and entertain the boys, so I basically gave up on the idea of a serious practice and played cricket with them. My older son is the one that is less inclined to play (he's 9) but he put his pads on and gloves and faced a real ball over 22 yards which is very encouraging. He even copped 3 balls in the inner thigh just below the googlies but still soldiered on which I was very impressed with eventually calling it a day with the 3rd ball in the same place!
He then opted to be the wicket keeper as son No.2 - Joe (6) batted against a plastic Kookaburra ball. Ben then made it his mission to catch an edge ball behind and kept missing, he didn't have gloves and he's not known for his catching abilities. In the end he was getting very upset by the fact that he couldn't catch the ball and get his little brother out who was batting quite well!
Eventually he went into a sulk and I ignore him, and got on with trying to bowl but what with being ignored he then sat and reflected and got up and started throwing a ball around so I stopped the bowling and started throwing the ball to him from different directions getting him to catch high, low and to the sides and bit by bit he was getting it and getting more confident and liking it when I was doing diving catches as he threw them back to me. Eventually we moved on to him throwing the ball back to the bat and me hitting it back to him off the bat and then towards the end he was using a cricket ball designating one of mine as his "Catching practice ball". So that was really good because he's usually really negative about cricket and I have to be really wary of not over-doing it with suggesting we all go and play cricket.
In just half and hour or so his confidence went from "I'm one of the worst at school at catching balls" to a kid that was catching cricket balls with confidence and technique, so I was quite happy to forefeit my practice.
I did at the very end get a few overs in and they were uneventful. The Leg break is still absent over any distance above 11 yards. The new weird ball was okay but still needs loads of work, but the wrong uns and other balls were fine. We finished off with a kick around with a football.
While we were over the field (This was The Rec) some Chav's started pulling the posts and chains that mark off the real cricket pitch as we were practicing in the outfield so I shouted across to stop it adding "Please"? They did initially but then thought about it and then realised that if they were to carry on it might induce a confrontation and there was 4 of them all around 16 years old. I ignored it choosing not to rise to the bait. But there was another bloke the other side of the wicket who then got up and walked down to these boys and said that he was one of the groundkeepers and he had a word with them in a very assertive manner which I was pleased about. But once the bloke had walked back to his seat out of earshot they were cursing him and vowing to come back and "Show that C**t what proper vandalism is". What is it with people?
This evening I went over to my training field and did my run back and forth and throw the ball at the stumps thing for 20 minutes, that went well - good throwing from fair old distance and wasn't too knackered.