All you will need for this session is a gym mat, some balls and some stumps. In small groups you take it in turns to be the feeder, the fielder and the spare player (collecting balls whilst resting). In the first phase balls are tossed just to the right of the fielder who to start with is on their knees. The reason for this is to isolate the top half of the body in order to really exaggerate the rotation needed to access the ball. Once the player has done this, they need to decide once they have got the ball in hand, whether to catch then extend their arms to prevent the elbows touching the ground or, option two, to trap the ball onto the group before gathering much like a football goalkeeper in a smothering action. Take five balls each, returning the ball to the feeder then rotate positions before repeating on the left hand side.
In the next phase once you have accustomed yourself with the positions you want to get into, you look to perform the stop from a standing position. The real focus at this point is ‘opening up’ your hip and leg on the side nearest to the ball. In essence you are rotating the hip to allow your body to access the ball and not tear a groin causing injury. Do not be afraid to really go for it before phase three.
In this last phase you build up to the throwing part. Once the catch has been taken you need to get your body into the best possible position to impact the run-out. You must create a firm base using both your knees and feet to create a triangle; here you’ll generate your power. Your shoulders now need to align to your target and simply aim for the base of the stumps. Now is the time of year to practice these difficult techniques but after a while you will really feel like you are making progress so that when the summer comes around you will be volunteering for backward point duties!
Good luck and Enjoy
WD & PL
This and other coaching session plans and ideas for winter training for all ages and abilities are available as free downloads from www.aleadingedge.co.uk/products/
The first book in a series, entitled, ‘Cricket - A Leading Edge for Captains’ is now available on www.amazon.co.uk