Development of junior batsmen

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Unless Cummins can get ten more runs, there will have been no fifties by an Australian in a Test match for the second time in four matches, and the third time in two years. This on a pitch that still hasn't got any major demons in it on day four.
 

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Theory: our tail-enders have regularly done better than our top order for a number of years, because when they seek to improve their techniques they go back to the basics, and their mentality is of survival.
Incidentally, with his 61 and counting, Cummins is providing evidence in favour of this hypothesis.
 
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The tailenders also are batting without the mental pressure being faced by the top six. Even Khawaja knows a run of low scores could be the end of his Test career, and the rest are on even more shaky ground than him. In a team which is struggling already, that kind of added pressure is significant.

Cummins, Lyon, Starc, Hazlewood: these guys are not batting for their careers. They are in the team to bowl (and are bowling well enough to know they are secure even if they score duck after duck).

In a mental game, mental pressure is everything. And the top six look shot to me.
 

Ohitsthatguy

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Ed Cowan was fantastic on the ABC the last few days.

He pretty much echoed western royboy's sentiment of needing better coaching in the lower grades. That was his first suggestion.

Also blamed Pat Howard for a lot of ****. Said Pat Howard would tell him how he should bat and how he tried to shape cricket in this country like Rugby Union but he failed miserably.

How a guy like that had so much influence over cricket in this country is ******* scary.

It was a great listen.
 

swingdog

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I've just finished Gideon Haigh's book and I think I know where he's coming from now. The standard pathway is seen as old hat, and it's all about finding bright shiny stars rather than good solid cricketers.
Great book. You can feel the anger pulsing through the pages. It's obvious that CA cares about money and audiences as the only measures of success.
 

acuguy

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Please see the problem with Junior Cricket below

Play in the V for the first ten overs (play straight)
Play along the carpet (don't hit the ball in the air)
Build your picket fence to get your innings going (work your singles at the beginning of an innings)

I've not heard 1 junior coach talk of these things. I've drilled these into my son and as a result he has only been out twice this season, They have to retire after 30 balls and he has retired on scores of 12, 10, 8, 35, 27, 4, 18. He was constantly being told to play more shots, hit it harder etc etc. He is definitely not the most talented cricketer, but he has been drilled on the mental application of batting. Play every ball on it's merits, this means if you get 6 good balls, then you block 6 good balls etc etc.

Needless to say there are better hitters in the team, but no kid with any technique really apart from my boy. As a result, he has picked up the best batsmen award for his team in season 1 this year. My point is this, there are a lot more talented kids than my son in his team, but because nobody is teaching them technique or the art of batting, they will be lost to the game, or just get picked on the occasional big 6.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Ed Cowan was fantastic on the ABC the last few days.

He pretty much echoed western royboy's sentiment of needing better coaching in the lower grades. That was his first suggestion.

Also blamed Pat Howard for a lot of ****. Said Pat Howard would tell him how he should bat and how he tried to shape cricket in this country like Rugby Union but he failed miserably.

How a guy like that had so much influence over cricket in this country is ******* scary.

It was a great listen.
Miserable failure is pretty much the way of rugby union in this country for the past 15 years or so. Maybe Pat knew more than we thought.
 

Seagrave_Holmes

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Please see the problem with Junior Cricket below

Play in the V for the first ten overs (play straight)
Play along the carpet (don't hit the ball in the air)
Build your picket fence to get your innings going (work your singles at the beginning of an innings)

I've not heard 1 junior coach talk of these things. I've drilled these into my son and as a result he has only been out twice this season, They have to retire after 30 balls and he has retired on scores of 12, 10, 8, 35, 27, 4, 18. He was constantly being told to play more shots, hit it harder etc etc. He is definitely not the most talented cricketer, but he has been drilled on the mental application of batting. Play every ball on it's merits, this means if you get 6 good balls, then you block 6 good balls etc etc.

Needless to say there are better hitters in the team, but no kid with any technique really apart from my boy. As a result, he has picked up the best batsmen award for his team in season 1 this year. My point is this, there are a lot more talented kids than my son in his team, but because nobody is teaching them technique or the art of batting, they will be lost to the game, or just get picked on the occasional big 6.
Good stuff. I'm sure your son will thank you in 20 years when he is smashing centuries in the test team :thumbsu:
 

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Freo Big Fella

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Amazed that no-one seems to be willing to point the finger at the multimillionaires currently occupying our top six, and their complete unwillingness to apply themselves and change or modify the clear defects in their technique, despite each of them having access to the best coaching and analysis in their states and the country.

Instead it's seven-to-ten-year-olds and volunteer coaches to blame.

Please see the problem with Junior Cricket below

Play in the V for the first ten overs (play straight)
Play along the carpet (don't hit the ball in the air)
Build your picket fence to get your innings going (work your singles at the beginning of an innings)

I've not heard 1 junior coach talk of these things. I've drilled these into my son and as a result he has only been out twice this season, They have to retire after 30 balls and he has retired on scores of 12, 10, 8, 35, 27, 4, 18. He was constantly being told to play more shots, hit it harder etc etc. He is definitely not the most talented cricketer, but he has been drilled on the mental application of batting. Play every ball on it's merits, this means if you get 6 good balls, then you block 6 good balls etc etc.

Needless to say there are better hitters in the team, but no kid with any technique really apart from my boy. As a result, he has picked up the best batsmen award for his team in season 1 this year. My point is this, there are a lot more talented kids than my son in his team, but because nobody is teaching them technique or the art of batting, they will be lost to the game, or just get picked on the occasional big 6.
Ever thought of, perhaps, putting your hand up and actually contributing something to the team yourself if the coaches are getting it so wrong?
 
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Amazed that no-one seems to be willing to point the finger at the multimillionaires currently occupying our top six, and their complete unwillingness to apply themselves and change or modify the clear defects in their technique, despite each of them having access to the best coaching and analysis in their states and the country.

Instead it's seven-to-ten-year-olds and volunteer coaches to blame.
Given the thesis of this thread is that junior development is where the defects have to be detected and changed, it wouldn't make much sense to copy every other thread which is blagging on the current team.
 

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Ed Cowan was fantastic on the ABC the last few days.

He pretty much echoed western royboy's sentiment of needing better coaching in the lower grades. That was his first suggestion.

Also blamed Pat Howard for a lot of ****. Said Pat Howard would tell him how he should bat and how he tried to shape cricket in this country like Rugby Union but he failed miserably.

How a guy like that had so much influence over cricket in this country is ******* scary.

It was a great listen.
It’s true and correct , the really sad part is a lot of people saw this a long time ago in junior and lower grade development and nothing was done then and still hasn’t been .
 

acuguy

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Amazed that no-one seems to be willing to point the finger at the multimillionaires currently occupying our top six, and their complete unwillingness to apply themselves and change or modify the clear defects in their technique, despite each of them having access to the best coaching and analysis in their states and the country.

Instead it's seven-to-ten-year-olds and volunteer coaches to blame.



Ever thought of, perhaps, putting your hand up and actually contributing something to the team yourself if the coaches are getting it so wrong?
I coach the boys footy, don't want to be that dad.
 

t_94

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The art of rotating strike to get your innings going is interesting to me. Its an often used line 'get yourself going with singles, pick the gaps, run hard' but it is a skill that a lot of batsmen seem to struggle with. Head for example yesterday got pinned down immediately before his dismissal and then got out to a poor shot. Its something we see often.

In club cricket it is my observation that players generally score a 50 at a run or ball or go at a 35 strike rate. There are few who consistently motor at say a 65 strike rate taking few risks. Neither is the optimum for making big scores unless you have the requisite concentration and fitness for a 250 ball stay, rather than a 150 ball one. Its my observation that first grade players who have had a taste of the next level are streets ahead in this area.

So i guess the question im trying to ask from the ramblings above is: 'what are the requsite skills to the critical skill of strike rotation that are not being sufficently taught at a a young age'. Is it 'wanger'/ bowling machine syndrome? More importantly how is it rectified?
 
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big_e

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I coach the boys footy, don't want to be that dad.
Just be that dad. And if anyone complains, ask them how many hours they spend volunteering to help other peoples kids.

Or plan B: coach another team. My brother coached his son in basketball til he was 13 and was too cool to hang around his dad, so my brother now coaches a younger team instead.

edit: We need more parents to be like you. Good on you for doing it.
 
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The art of rotating strike to get your innings going is interesting to me. Its an often used line 'get yourself going with singles, pick the gaps, run hard' but it is a skill that a lot of batsmen seem to striggle with. Head for example yesterday got pinned down immediately before his dismissal and then got out to a poor shot. Its something we see often.

In club cricket it is my observation that players generally score a 50 at a run or ball or go at a 35 strike rate. There are few who consistently motor at say a 65 strike rate taking few risks. Neither is the optimum for making big scores unless you jave to requisite concentration and fitness for a 250 ball stay, rather than a 150 ball one. Its my observation that first grade players who have had a taste of the next level are streets ahead in this area.

So i guess the question im trying to ask from the ramblings above is: 'what are the requsite skills to the critical skill of strike rotation that are not being sufficently taught at a a young age'. Is it 'wanger'/ bowling machine syndrome? More importantly how is it rectified?
Great post!

Less nets, more games is important. Practice batting with fielders and running between wickets. Learn to place the ball, defend with soft hands, pinch ones inside the circle.

When do players get to train that skill? Club game finishes, we lose and everyone agrees that 'we need to score more singles.' Everyone nods and we have our two net sessions during the week where there's no chance to practice it.

Most clubs at a decent level are turf so it's nigh on impossible to get centre wickets to train on during the week.

Your point on strike rates is an interesting one and made me think about some of the better players I played club cricket with (guys who played state & international cricket). Between 20-100 they didn't really vary their approach or accelerate much. Got into a rhythym and just batted the same.

Had the skill to go harder but rarely did. Had this balance between being watchful/staying in and ticking things along. Could stay there risk free for long periods but still tick things along.

Players who didn't reach the same level tended to either be dogged defenders, who dug themselves a hole and couldn't get out of it. Dot balls piled up, pressure placed on their partners. High price placed on their wicket but limited players.

Or at the other end of the spectrum the talented ball strikers who kept taking more and more risks the longer they were in. Confidence grew. Play more shots. Take on the spinners etc. Good for 20s and 30s usually except for the blue moon day. Over-reliant on boundaries.
 

Freo Big Fella

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Given the thesis of this thread is that junior development is where the defects have to be detected and changed, it wouldn't make much sense to copy every other thread which is blagging on the current team.
I realise that, but in the three plus years since royboy posted the thread, I'm yet to see it backed up with any conclusive proof that doesn't fall squarely into "back in my day" territory.

I keep coming back to the comp in my former hometown, which was run my traditionalists who hated the Milo model, wanted kids facing 1000 throwdowns in the nets before doing anything else at training and insisting on full size pitches. Great for their egos and nostalgia and all, but the majority of kids hated it, fewer and fewer families were turning up to register at the beginning of each season and they'd had to progressively eliminate the 9's, 10's and 12's competitions because clubs couldn't actually field sides (with the 13s looking increasingly unstable). When we asked families who were pulling out what the problems were, the answers were almost uniform "Johnny isn't enjoying it any more" "Coach X only focuses on the best bowlers and batsmen in the side" "All his friends are playing basketball now" "He feels stupid because he can't land one on the full length of the pitch."

After much handwringing, screeching and wailing, the Association eventually asked the WACA and Department of Sport and Recreation for help and consented to rolling out the Milo/T20 blast model for the younger age groups around 4-5 seasons ago. And what do you know? Numbers are up, clubs can now field junior sides in each age group and there's even two girls teams with healthy numbers playing against the boys. The bigger pool of players means the clubs are now identifying more and more talented kids who are playing up with the adults in second-grade and getting more intensive coaching that way.

Sure, the focus at the youngest end is more on kids having a go and less on super-rigorous coaching, but I'll take that over no competition at all, which was the looming alternative.
 
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I realise that, but in the three plus years since royboy posted the thread, I'm yet to see it backed up with any conclusive proof that doesn't fall squarely into "back in my day" territory.

I keep coming back to the comp in my former hometown, which was run my traditionalists who hated the Milo model, wanted kids facing 1000 throwdowns in the nets before doing anything else at training and insisting on full size pitches. Great for their egos and nostalgia and all, but the majority of kids hated it, fewer and fewer families were turning up to register at the beginning of each season and they'd had to progressively eliminate the 9's, 10's and 12's competitions because clubs couldn't actually field sides (with the 13s looking increasingly unstable). When we asked families who were pulling out what the problems were, the answers were almost uniform "Johnny isn't enjoying it any more" "Coach X only focuses on the best bowlers and batsmen in the side" "All his friends are playing basketball now" "He feels stupid because he can't land one on the full length of the pitch."

After much handwringing, screeching and wailing, the Association eventually asked the WACA and Department of Sport and Recreation for help and consented to rolling out the Milo/T20 blast model for the younger age groups around 4-5 seasons ago. And what do you know? Numbers are up, clubs can now field junior sides in each age group and there's even two girls teams with healthy numbers playing against the boys. The bigger pool of players means the clubs are now identifying more and more talented kids who are playing up with the adults in second-grade and getting more intensive coaching that way.

Sure, the focus at the youngest end is more on kids having a go and less on super-rigorous coaching, but I'll take that over no competition at all, which was the looming alternative.
Well that doesn't appear to be the model any of us are arguing for either, so...
 

Freo Big Fella

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Well that doesn't appear to be the model any of us are arguing for either, so...
The whole thread is full of people - you included - complaining about the emphasis on participation, without any reflection that without numbers, you haven't got any means to find your next generation to train.
 

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The more I hear, the more I find it hard to avoid the impression that Pat Howard has a lot of blood on his hands for where Australian cricket is at.

However, it goes much deeper than that too. There cannot possibly be such a universal lack of technique and the ability to apply oneself as we are seeing in Australia now, for there not to be a systemic issue that goes back to the core of junior coaching. These are not issues that are currently being seen universally across the world either.

To use New Zealand as an example, right now we would kill for someone even as good as Henry Nicholls, or Tom Latham, or hell, BJ Watling, to be in our national setup. Never mind Williamson or Taylor, that's the level we are currently looking at longingly.
 
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The whole thread is full of people - you included - complaining about the emphasis on participation, without any reflection that without numbers, you haven't got any means to find your next generation to train.
I think you're taking your own experiences and copying over the opinions of the people you dealt with onto us.

In fact, now that I look back in the thread I notice you made the same complaint last month, to which royboy said:

Milo doesn't need to change much other than give the kids some basics on grip, backlift and stance - if they do that they will have it for life.
This is, I suspect, what most of us would say. Participation is not a bad thing, but there's no reason it shouldn't come with some basic coaching. By the time they hit high school, they should be ready to play proper cricket and want to play it.

There is no better explanation for the paucity of batting talent than that there is a failure at junior level onwards. If you have one, let's hear it.
 

Freo Big Fella

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There's guys who are clearly prepared to guts it out; Renshaw is there, Burns is there, Harris has the right model but struggles to go on with it, Bancroft was stringing consistent numbers together before Joburg. Smith and Warner are freaks, but also proof that T20 doesn't automatically kill your ability to play First Class Cricket.

The issue is that Cricket Australia have now structured the home summer to make it impossible for any player to build first class form, or the selectors to realistically assess any player's first class form.


However, it goes much deeper than that too. There cannot possibly be such a universal lack of technique and the ability to apply oneself as we are seeing in Australia now, for there not to be a systemic issue that goes back to the core of junior coaching. These are not issues that are currently being seen universally across the world either.

To use New Zealand as an example, right now we would kill for someone even as good as Henry Nicholls, or Tom Latham, or hell, BJ Watling, to be in our national setup. Never mind Williamson or Taylor, that's the level we are currently looking at longingly.
The glaring difference between us, New Zealand, England, South Africa and India is they don't butcher the scheduling of their first class competition's to accomodate their T20 tournaments. We're unique in that regard.
 
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