Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Boy done well!

Earlier in November my younger son Joe had a couple of trials for South Essex District Cricket Board. The competition at both events was pretty stiff, with the boys all pulling out the stops to impress, some of them looked desperate to grasp the opportunity. I'd just said to Joe, just bowl, do your best and see how you go, don't stress over it, if you've got it, it'll come - you can't force it.

He looked relaxed and bowled okay, I get the sense that he feels like he's a charlatan, an outsider, because he's not obsessed by cricket, like some of the kids you come across. We don't have expensive bats, we're all bowlers and no-one ever really takes us aside to show us what we might do to improve with our batting. What with cricket being batting-centric, Joe like so many bowlers probably feels like an outsider, the less important blokes in the game. But then that may all work in his favour, he doesn't feel pressurised and therefore is able to relax and bowl well?

As a result mid November we got the notification that he'd done it, he'd been selected as one of the A-team players.

Then last Thursday there was the first training session which was interesting to see how it went. The boys were all asked who can bat and then were directed to stand to one side if they thought they could bat and it was funny to see that 85% of them stood on the 'I can bat' side, Joe hung back with a handful of bowlers. Then the coaches said...

Oh okay, what we mean is we need blokes that can really bat - openers, who is the opening batsman for their teams? Then they divided them up into openers. middle order batsmen and any one who bats 8 or lower or something like that, there was then as sense of reality and the divisions then saw a lot more boys join the lower order boys and a big mass of them then designated themselves as middle order batsmen.

The batsmen were all paired up over 4 nets with the openers first and shown fields. The were told not to get out and ensure over an over they hit the ball through the field to ensure they scored 8 an over. The bowlers were charged with the task of bowling to their field and the coaches then tallied the run made per over. There were points deducted for wickets, play and miss etc and if they ended up on zero at the end of the over they were moved along.

It generally looked very different to the trials, it looked to me like they'd been over-come with a sense of I've done it, I've got my foot in the door and I can now relax, because all of it looked a bit average, some of the bowling was dreadful, but at the end of the night the coaches did the right thing and praised the boys saying they were pleased with the work that they'd done.

Following session...

This was very different with poor attendance which was surprising. Last week I'd have said there was around 22-24 boys, but this week there was around 16-18 boys. No nets this week, instead they did some warm-ups with the coach asking someone to be the 'Warm-up leader', no-one came forward. He just said get on with and they all did warm ups with a kid in the end being the most proactive and the rest of them following him.

They then were set a circuit of different strength and conditioning type exercises including; planks, burpees, press-ups, crunches and variations all based around core strength. Now, I'm 55 and I worry about the fact that I'm not that fit and that I only ever do this stuff in fits and starts when I've got time, but overall I kind of tick over, doing something now and then, so looking at these kids I was flabbergasted at how unfit, weak and feeble they all were! I'd have run rings around these kids at their age and even now I reckon I'd have done it with far more ease and finesse then they did -  it was hilarious! Reminded me of the Youtube video of the US soldiers trying to put the Afghan soldier recruits through their paces...

Joe, my son didn't do that well and he said for the following 2 days he ached, so this weekend I've been getting him doing some of the stuff that I do...
Plus some of the duraband exercises you'll find here