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Forget Technique: What To Work On During Summer Practice

Ian Bell
Don't spend hours trying to groove technique this summer
©REUTERS / Action Images

Ian Bell.

Now there is a man who can hit a cover drive. Imagine sitting in on a net session where he is grooving the shot over and over. It would be like ballet with a ball.

We all want a textbook technique like Bell, and rightly so, a good technique is the hallmark of a quality player. You are not a bottom handed leg side yahoo merchant. You are a silky stroke maker who plays on the "posh" side.

So you work on technique at every net session.

I'm here to tell you, even if you are as magnificent as Belly, you are better off forgetting about technique as the winter fails and you walk blinking into your summer training shorts.

Summer is for tactics

Technique is important, but the problem of "good technique" is that it lacks context. Your perfect drive in the sports hall looks great but on a wet April track it becomes a spoon to mid on. That's why you need to work on your tactics at summer training.

Put aside your technical points in April, both perfect an imperfect, and instead start working on how you are going to score runs.

This starts with basic things like line, length and pace for bowlers, and hitting the gaps for batsmen.

You can then drill down to specific tactics to work on for upcoming games.

Chances are you know about the pitches in your league, and how they change. So think about how the pitch will play on Saturday and what that means for your tactics.

Work on chasing runs and setting targets.

Work on bowling at different stages of the game.

Think about the types of bowlers or batters you will face when you play certain games. Think about how they play and how you can defeat them. Then work on your plans in the upcoming practice sessions.

As the season progresses, review your matches. Chances are slim that someone's technical error lost you a game. It's usually about dealing with pressure of having the right tactic. So review, train based on the review and win more games.

When September rolls around you can get back to the technical work, but now we are at the sharp end, use your precious training time to get tactically and mentally strong within your existing method.

Even Ian Bell does that.

Good luck this year!

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