Players step up Deaf Ashes preparations

Posted in Disability Cricket

Bobby Denning

The players responded well on our final full training camp before the Deaf Ashes

Minus six, freezing fog, snow, black ice and a strong desire to check the tread on my car tyres when I get back home.

Clearly not our first thoughts during our final full training camp before the Deaf Ashes and ODI series in January but at the back of all our minds as the squad and management came together from different wintry parts of the country this weekend.

To get everyone there was a priority for what proved to be an excellent weekend, focussing on being as ready as we can be for when we board the coach on Sunday January 9 for Gatwick.

Derek Morgan (Assistant Coach) joined up with the squad for the first time and his input was excellent from the outset.

The weekend took a different format to what we have previously done and all of the players responded to this.

Saturday consisted of the players working specifically on their individual programmes, followed by six of the elite squad batting for two and a quarter hours on the bowling machines and against bowlers.

This is the first time we have ran a session like this and the aim was to have no input from the coaches or other players during this two hour period, to replicate a Test Match scenario.

I was pleased with how the batters responded, particularly in terms of concentration and applying the principles of "attentional focus" that we have worked on in previous sessions.

Surrounded by Christmas work parties at our team meal on Saturday night, we enjoyed a relaxing evening. Wearing party hats and listening to the DJ's Abba Gold collection, was about as "rock and roll" as it got with the players retiring early, ready for their early Sunday morning bleep test.

After the bleep test on Sunday, the squad went into detailed discussions about key things that we will focus on for the Test match. This led nicely into an "open net" session where we started to apply and discuss some of these key things.

Another session for the players’ individual programmes worked well, with players taking a lead and setting this up themselves, followed by another two hour batting session for those who didn’t bat on Saturday.

So, that’s all our preperations more or less done, other than a final training day on January 8th before we depart on the following day.

We have covered all bases for the tour and I feel that the players have responded fantastically to everything we have asked.

They have taken responsibility and have created an enjoyable and professional environment.

We are a confident group and we will remain focussed over Christmas on the challenge ahead. The chance to do something special is exciting and we won’t waste it. It won’t come round again for a while and the players know this.

All the best.

Thanks for reading.