It did rain over night so I took advantage of the fact and had the roller on the paddock again. It looks like the layout of the Paddock is going to be exactly as it has been for the last 3 years, which means the batting area is going to be dirt, the rest of it seems to have recovered pretty well and come the Easter holiday might be fairly usable if the council get in there and mow it. It will benefit from some rain once it's been cut as that'll allow me to get it really smooth and flat. Overall I'm optimistic that it'll be usable for a few months.
We had the sidearm out today, both Joe and Ben didn't fancy facing it, but they were willing initially to give it a go with me. In order to protect the wet grass at the bowling end we deployed the heavy duty bowling mat for the first time and that looks very promising as a good solid platform from which to bowl off of, so that'll be used all summer to prevent ruts and loose material under-foot. Ben and Joe's use of the sidearm was a little below par, with Joe soon giving up with it and Ben following not long after. Ben at least was asking 'Well, how long have got to use it in order that I get good at it'? I think he wants to be able to use it, but gets frustrated by the fact that it isn't that easy. They don't seem to want to put the effort in over the longer term to get it sussed. He made the point that he'd learned some pretty difficult stunt scooter tricks by watching youtube tutorials and that I needed to show and tell him what to do and how to do it, but I couldn't... It's one of those intuitive things that you get a feel for with practice, every time I use it I get more accurate with it and once they'd given up I threw a few buckets of balls and was amazingly accurate. I've got it sussed now that I can use differing types of balls and differ the technique, but describing the subtleties in the technique for each ball is nigh on impossible, it's just something you feel.
I think we're going to have to change our practice regime in order that it includes a section of practice where they face the sidearm fully padded up, as I'm pretty certain it will be beneficial to them both especially Ben as he'll have to face some pretty fast bowling this season.
The training was different this week, no nets, so G-Man had them doing a series of different drills and then eventually they had a bit of a knock about. Both Ben and Joe took wickets and their mate Kieran probably made the biggest contribution to his side with the bat as the last man standing. Kieran with some guidance and encouragement could be a half decent batsman and he too might benefit from practicing with the sidearm. In Joe's U11 group as well, his mate Harry Hodgson is one of those kids with good eye/ball coordination and could easily improve in leaps and bounds as he get older and starts to listen to instructions and takes on board the theory and puts it into practice.