Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grays Nets #1

At last! It's only taken almost 2 years, but for the first time ever since joining Grays & Chadwell CC it looks as though I'm going to be able to get along to all the pre-season nets/training sessions. Which (Fingers crossed) will mean I'm going to be able to get a bit of coaching and develop as a cricket player?

As soon as I got there I was confronted by a scene that I wasn't expecting - an older bloke standing in the middle of the hall with a bat in his hand going over basic batting techniques while all the rest of the blokes were all lined up against the wall listening! So I sat down and listened to what the bloke (Terry) was saying and tried to pick up some pointers. He was going over the basics of the Front foot drive which is where I'm trying to get to and he was making some good points. I liked the observation he made regarding the Indian batsmen, this is something I've noticed on the tele during the India v England games recently. They stand side on with the body pointing down the wicket and they have their heads tucked into their shoulder almost in a very deliberate manner and this is all to do with keeping the head and eyes level. Another point he was making was the trigger movement where you get up onto your back foot toes just before you commit to moving onto the back or front foot. That seemed to make a lot of sense and was something I tried to do later on.

After the explanations he had us all doing the swinging the bat one handed at the ball and then throwing drills a la Paul Collingwood. Then it was into the nets.

I've never met this bloke Terry before but he made some useful comments re my bowling. He watched my first ball which was a wrong un and commented on that saying that he was impressed. It turned out to be the best one of the night as the wrong uns went down hill after that! So in my quest not to bowl them anyway as I'm in pursuit of the Leg Break I decided that I'd go for mixing it up remembering how affective the little boys were last summer against the Tilbury mob (And my own son Joe). So I was bowling Flippers, Top Spinners, the occasional attempt at the Leg Break and The Gipper. I was changing the speed the flight and the length and as a result was doing quite well. Not so well at the really confident bats like Lee Downes but some of the others I was managing to get past drawing them down the wicket and getting the ball past them. Swiss Danny I managed to get the ball past him a few times and Neil as well, for some reason I always forget that Neil bats at the bottom order with me and I always have this feeling that because he bowls spin he going to be able to cope with me better than everyone else and I get great satisfaction in getting the ball past him which I did a few times as well!

He seemed quite impressed and was on Facebook shortly after I'd got home saying - Neil Samwell is wondering if ill ever live tonight down! anyone want to buy my cricket gear from me im going to take up umpiring!
He then discussed my bowling saying that he'd spoken to Terry the coach and they were saying that some of my deliveries were pretty unique. I can only imagine that they were talking about my Gipper ball which I was using tonight with very good affect. In the past I've had real trouble with the accuracy and getting it up the other end. Whether because of the increase in exercise or improved delivery and follow through - I'm currently able to bowl it better than I've ever been able to and it spins like a leg break but has variable bounce characteristics which I'd noted back in the October pratice sessions. Other balls that Neil seemed to be having problems with were the Flippers, I can get them to spin backwards nicely and they come in nice and low but then sit up I think and this was Neils observation and he said they were causing him problems. But I think the best one was the Leg Break attempt. It was nice and straight at middle and off but it was the way it bounced, it produced a ludicrous bounce that caught Neil by surprise and glanced off his gloves straight to the keeper if he'd been there. Another one was edged out towards the cover region that would have been caught.

In bewteen balls I spoke to the coach as he was commending me on my Wrong Un and I mentioned that it was my main ball and that I was looking to get the Leg Break going. He said he too bowled Wrong uns and had the same problem and then went on to say....... "What you need to do is"..... and he explained exactly what I've been doing and said that if I was to keep that up I'd eventually get it back. So that was really good to hear and is incentive to persevere with it and stick to it till I get it. But I'm also bouyed by the comments regarding the Gipper and the fact that I was getting it to turn nicely. Again this is incentive to keep at it and develop it as a surprise ball. So my bowling apart from the wrong un went fairly well and then it was time to bat......

I was facing Swiss Danny, Iffty, Neil, Wayne and the oaccasional one from Super Dave. I think I did okay, probably a fair improvement since the 2 sessions last year in the nets? I was trying to remember the things the coach had been telling us - the trigger movement bit that I seemed to be doing and keeping the shoulder pointed down the wicket and the head still. The thing I didn't seem to do was step towards the ball with confidence and bring the bat through in a nice straight arc keeping it straight and making full use of the bats width. But in comparison with last year I think there has got to have been some improvement? One thing is for sure I'm not as fearful as I was last year and generally I think I managed to keep Wayne and Neil at bay (Spinners).

As we walked out the coach was saying that he'd work with me on a routine to help me correct the lifting of the arm correctly so that the bat would come through in a nice arc for the front foot drive, so that's a positive. But more than anything is the fact that I've got 10 weeks or so of this before the season - it can only mean I'll improve and maybe I'll beat my all time high score of 11!

That's without the Sunday sessions as well. Hopefully this Sunday Neil will be able to get along to our nets as well and boost the numbers as I'm slightly worried as I've not heard from Alex yet. It sounds like it's going to be -




Mark Soye

Nick Naughty



Rod the Aussie?

Rod and Thomas I'm doubtful about.

So all in all a brilliant night!