Had a practice today mid afternoon that went rather well and then carried on flicking the ball indoors and again was baffled by the fact that I can flick the ball in the way to get a good leg break while I'm standing still, but then when I try and bowl over any distance it all goes wrong? So for about 1000th time I tried to do the flick over a short distance and this time had some success. So I'll stick at the distance I'm able to do it over (16 yards) and not go longer and just see if I can get it good at that distance?
While I was doing that I noticed the enthusiastic cricket kids across the road all sitting around doing nothing and then one of the kids down my road shouted 'Dave do you wanna play cricket'? Daft question! So ten minutes later we were in the middle of our field with about 8 of us playing cricket. We had about an hour out there and it went okay - a bit chaotic, but amongst them there's a few that are really up for it and one kid that bowls well and bats okay that knows a lot about cricket and talking to him (The kid from yesterday) it turns out that he watches a lot of cricket on the tele.
After the game we carried on bowling and batting on the new 'Oak tree wicket'. Unfortunately Joe and Ben were not around as they'd gone to Chessington World of Adventure, but once they're involved along with one or two of the others there's going to be enough of us to set a proper field and designate roles to people. One kid Connor (Who at the minute can't bowl) seems to be up for being a wicket keeper and there's now a half decent bowling line up - Ben, Joe, This new kid who I think is also Joe and Andy. When the game finished they were all up for playing again over the weekend, so hopefully Ben and Joe will join in and this should help develop their skills.
Coaching Drills; As usual we did some drills to start off with - a couple of them were really good that I think Ben and Joe would like. 3 blokes with 2 balls. In a line - the bloke in the middle doesn't have a ball and faces one of the others with a ball. The bloke on the outside throws the ball into the middle bloke who throws it back and then he turns to the bloke behind him, as soon as he starts to turnn the bloke behind him starts to throw the ball, so that by the time his head comes round the ball is already on it's way and he has to react fast and throw it back to him to then swivel around to throw back to the first bloke ad infinitum and then swap over every minute or so.
Again 3 blokes. All facing a wall. One bloke stands in front of the others about 10' from the wall without a ball. The other 2 with ball or balls bounces the ball from behind him off the floor up onto the wall so that it bounces towards the bloke closest to the wall. Again it leaves little time to react and catch the ball. He catches the ball and throws it back over his shoulder from whence it came.
Then to the nets.... The net I usually bowl in was rammed and the 1st team net only had 4 people bowling in it so I went in there bowling against the 1st team batsmen - Cat, Matt and some bloke with a bat (In brown). Hmm that was different. Cat was able to despatch me all over the shop generally with ease although I think I got an edge that a wicket keeper would have had. Matt who was hitting 4's and 6's off most of my bowling also came unstuck a couple of times coming down the wicket at me. But I couldn't really see what it was that was causing any problems. Longer balls seemed to be better than shorter as they caused defensive shots, but varying the length had them coming down the wicket. Dipping Top Spinners looked to be a good weapon and mixing Leg Breaks with Wrong uns. Knowing what their weakness was helpful and Terry our coach (Matts Dad) told us to bowl at Matts legs and sure enough it did cause him problems getting him wound up. It certainly was harder than bowling at the 2nd team blokes but a lot more challenging, so I might bowl in that net again over the next couple of weeks and see if I can out-fox the batsmen from the first team?