Monday, March 10, 2014

Net session No.2 - Gibbs Reflective Practice
A couple of nights ago we had the 2nd net session of the season at Woodlands school and it went okay, not a massive turnout with regards the adults, but a new bloke turned up who looked a bit handy.

 What happened? Considering some of the things I discussed in the last Gibbs reflection, I didn’t really look to change much this week. One of the obvious things that needed work was my general fitness, and over the last few days I’ve been out running and done some cardio work and upper-body work as well. Last week I didn’t recover till Monday morning, but this week I’ve recovered much faster and didn’t feel anywhere near as knackered. As I recall the other thing I said I’d be doing is just bowl and feel right bowling rather than do a macro focus on one or more aspects. There are issues, but at the moment I’m still not looking to address them and get too hung up on them.

 I changed nets frequently and bowled at people who generally deal with my bowling easily and didn’t really gain anything from the experience other than reinforcing the notion that (1). I need to be accurate with regards length and (2). I need to spin it hard and vary the angle of the seam to create leg break sub-variations (Big Leg Breaks and little leg breaks).

 Feelings: (What were you thinking and feeling)? Again relatively happy as I’m recognising that I’m able to increase the amount of spin and the angle the ball spins at and this looks very promising in the longer term and it looks as though I’m progressively recovering my Top-Spinner which has been defunct for some time now.

 Evaluation (What was good and bad)? Good things were the fact that I went across to the 1st and 2nd team nets and bowled at the new bloke and got him with the first ball – edged it to slips for an easy take. I also bowled out my older son Ben 3 times in a row (hit the stumps all three times), although I don’t want to gloat about that too much as he was feeling good about his batting last week.

 Bad stuff, others… Sonny Downes and Tom Hardy both dealt with me fairly easily, although the slightly more top-spun version of my leg break (Straighter ball) had Tom in trouble a bit as his main tactic is to come down the wicket and the extra dip for him caused him problems.

 Analysis (What can you make of the situation)? Keep things going as they are, keep going with the fitness and bring on this Top-Spinner and maybe gradually look to mix with a loopy Flipper. The top-spinner which I’m working with using a windball looks pretty good and I think it’s converting okay to the real cricket ball with very little problems so far. I’m also noticing that with very little effort now I’m producing a ball that turns more and so it looks as though I’ll have a leg break with two other variations.

 Conclusion (What else could I have done)? Not sure really – I’m quite happy with what I’m doing, maybe start to think a little more about getting side on out of the bound, I am doing it a little, but as I said I don’t really want to be getting too bogged down with it. Maybe I’ll give it some though this coming week?

 Action Plan (Next week – what will I do)? Flipper, Top Spinner and stock ball – get sideways out of the bound with the stock leg break. Or is that too much? Yeah… too much. I’ll focus on the Top-Spinner mixing with the stock ball I reckon and see how that goes?
General Stuff

 Tonight in the earlier part of the session (u13’s) we were joined by a group of lads from the school. Reason being is that one of the 1st/2nd team players is a PE teacher over there as far as I can make out and he’s obviously been doing a bit of cricket with them and had invited them along. The lads that turned up were in Joe’s age group U13’s. The intention I believe is that these lads attend the rest of the sessions and then join the team at the start of the season and become members?

 There was also talk around the idea that John (PE teacher) would also encourage the U15’s to get involved too, so maybe next week we’ll see an influx of boys from that age group? All of which puts pressure on the current established boys with regards their positions within the teams! Looking at that situation last week, it did look as though that situation was already looking a little competitive already between the lads already in the team. Whilst it’s obviously good for the club – new players, more income, potentially better vibe, possible improved overall team performance – the selectors have more choice, etc. The individuals who are then displaced – perhaps at important points in the season (Ben in the final at Benfleet against Orsett a couple of years ago can leave some people aggrieved)? I know there are already people who feel that their kids were over-looked last year, but the fact that is how it’s going to be, there’s never any easy way round it and the situation is universal throughout cricket. It virtually comes down to the fact that if you want a regular game, you have two options…

  •  You clearly (Statistically) need to be one of the top 4 Batsmen.
  • You clearly need to be one of the top 4 bowlers.
    Next best thing is be a good wicket keeper or all-rounder. Other important aspects seem to be – you can use nets as an opportunity to show your prowess, some people don’t show up at nets, but the coaches, selectors and team captains do and they’re forever watching and making mental notes about each individual’s performance (You’d hope)? So, if you can, put the effort in, turn up at nets, show you’re willing to learn and look to show some improvement in some aspect of your game, you’re only going to increase the chances of being selected?

 In that respect, both Ben and Kieran did okay last night and I’m sure Frank Farrington did the same in his net, although I didn’t see a lot of his bowling. Kieran, in particular looked very promising albeit needing a little more tweaking, his bowling looked fast… deceptively fast and with virtually no bounce even though he was bowling ridiculously short, if he could get some more practice in and bowl a lot fuller outside of the off-stump a little or right on the toes – kind of Yorker length balls I reckon he’d do well. I didn’t see him swing it, but in recent years he’s got the ball to swing as well, so if he gets that back and practices enough to control it, I reckon he could be really good like he was a couple of seasons back.

 Ben did well too and they moved him over into the adults nets to see how he’d get on with the better batsmen, so that’s a good start for him, he came back and said he’d done okay. It would be good to see him try and swing the ball as well rather than just bowling it so that it did something off the seam, although he does have a pretty good off-cutter.

 I’m not even sure Ben or Kieran think about the game in the same way, and I’m obvious this is a parent perspective more than an issue that affects the kids that much. I know from Ben’s perspective, he’d be far more inclined to play 4th XI adult cricket, so I’m not sure whether he’d be that bothered to be honest? I suppose, we’ll have to see how it goes and see if he perceives the influx of potential new lads as a threat to him playing in every available game?
One person who turned up this week from the U15's who wasn't there last week was Tim and he had a good night taking some scalps with his bowling, he'd bowled well in the 4th XI last year and tonight 'Boom Messi in a pack'! He bowls Sonny Downes out with one of his very own 'Tadpole balls'!!! Go Tim!!!