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A new year, a new challenge

Posted in Disability Cricket

The first training camp for the new year and my first with the England Deaf squad recently took place over a weekend at the excellent facility at Shrewsbury School.

The weekend was a great opportunity for me to guage where the squad is at and I am confident that they will respond to the various ideas I have for our next training camps, based on the effort and commitment shown.

Along with the levels of skill and experience we have in and around the squad, it's an exciting time ahead for all involved.

Based on the limited contact time I have with the players, I was keen to ensure my coaching philosophy, which is 'success = environment + communication + discipline + enjoyment', remained the focus for the weekend and the challenge now to all the players and staff is to ensure we take this to the next level at future camps.

Along with players enjoying each session, the workrate and commitment to each training weekend, during the training and away from it (discipline) is crucial if we are to achieve our goals. A challenging session in which players can learn and take responsibility for their own games is vital to the success of the camps and therefore the individuals and squad as a whole (environment).

The weekend involved the squad undertaking fielding drills which were scored. This will create some healthy competition and provide the staff with some basic objective information on the squad's skill levels.

Players had time built into the first day to work on specifics of their own game (batters) with the bowlers being introduced to some 'part bowling' strength and conditioning drills. A net session finished day one with video footage being taken of the bowlers and batters.

Day two saw the squad undergo some specific batting work on the bowling machines (defending against pace and taking a single, hitting boundaries against pace and moving down the wicket against spin). This was followed by a squad discussion on some basic principles of sports pyschology (attentional focus) with the principles being applied in a 'dismissal' net session.

Overall, a great start to the new year.

A simple message to finish this first blog of 2010 - we now need to build on the good start. Players and staff have quite simply got to be professional in everything we do.

More information about the squad can be found on the England Cricket Association for the Deaf website.

Thanks for reading.