Four Player Format.
Yep, even more and it is working. Today hardly a ball was hit through the air and despite this some good scores were had by Joe and me, with Joe hitting 27 off of 36 balls and me 30 off of 36.. What we've got to do now is extend the idea further so that as well as playing proper shots and trying to guide the ball through gaps and hitting it back past the bowler, we've got to also not get bowled and watch out for run outs, as I was run out once in my innings going for a single, I knew it was risky but played the odds thinking it was 50/50 as to whether Kieran would gather the ball neatly and be able to throw down the stumps and needless to say he did with me about a yard short of the crease. Joe's not good at this either, he always backs himself to make it and is frequently run out in games as well as practice scenarios. He did well today with his batting and hopefully he's seeing the value of looking to guide the ball into gaps rather than always trying to smack it. Kieran on the other hand - who still isn't seeing the weaknesses in his own game (Hitting the ball too early and therefore sky-ing it) still thinks that the solution is to smack the ball as hard as possible, Joe got a Fiver-fer off of Kierans innings bowling him 5 times in two overs by simply varying the pace and the length slightly, so Joe was pleased with himself. I bowled straight after Joe and Kieran then hit me for a couple of fours if not 3 fours trying to replicate what Joe does!
My older son Ben didn't do so well today, not as bad as Kieran, but for some of the time still looking to smack the ball albeit straight back past the bowler and coming unstuck there. He doesn't seem to be able to keep a cool head and accept that on one day you might do well and on another day it'll all fall to pieces. He sets himself the target of 36 off of 36 balls and then as soon as the figure starts to go away from him, instead of thinking 'I'll be happy just to score 18 and not get bowled out, he starts to trying make up the runs by swinging the bat around and it all falls apart. Tricky stuff getting the kids to see the sense of these tactics and accepting that if they're batting at No.10 or 11 they may be far better off trying to hit the ball deftly and defending their end to allow another bloke to score the runs. Although saying that, Ben did exactly that yesterday with Harry Bat, despite the fact that Harry Bat is a little kids and three years his junior, so maybe the messages are filtering through.