WillowBlue Australia Pty Ltd  

Doggy's Blog

The Parent Coach

Posted on 22 April, 2015 at 20:55


A Guide to help Mum & Dad coach cricket at home “the earliest years’… by Ian Callen

 To the Parent

It is worth remembering that our children’s curiosity in cricket is influenced through parents, family members or the marketing of the sport. Their fascination grows as they interact with others who share common interests. As a consequence children will emulate and play cricket for their enjoyment not because they are forced.

As a Parent it is easy for us to encourage our children to participate in cricket because it keeps us and them socially active within the local community – please do not force them to participate… it only discourages them and that is not good for the game of CRICKET.

I believe it helps to motivate by praising the child’s effort to develop playing skills and it raises their self-esteem. I realise how frustrating it is sometimes when we see our child making mistakes but we must not ridicule or abuse. As a parent we can set the example here.

It is also very important to remember that children learn best by example and repetition – praise and applaud each effort.

 Parent Coach

As a Parent Coach what matters most is the necessary desire to nurture the interest your child has shown towards the game and to encourage and support them as they develop the skills to play and enjoy the game.

Here's a list of three basic characteristics that can help you work more successfully with your young cricketer;

  • A genuine interest in helping your child to learn the game of cricket .This may seem like an obvious statement but it needs to be reinforced here.
  • A positive attitude at all times. Children are very sensitive and emotional Individuals. They will "feed" off the person who is in charge of them
  • Ability to communicate. You do not have to be a public speaker, you just need to be able to pass on your knowledge to youngsters… be patient.

 With these three characteristics in place, a parent can begin to develop his/her “coaching eye." This means that with experience, the parent coach will develop his or her own unique instinctive style that will allow him/her to identify those abilities or areas your youngsters require immediate attention.

Here's a more advanced check list for developing the "coaching eye":

  • Always wear your friendly face. "It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile."
  • Always keep your eyes and ears open. Do not merely hear something; actually listen to what they have to say.
  • Talk in uncomplicated terms. If you are coaching a third grader, it means nothing to them if you are using 6th grade words.
  • One thing at a time. This goes along with simple terms. When learning new skills, even adults may not be able to process multiple instructions.
  • Demonstrate, demonstrate, and demonstrate. Whenever possible, always show what you are talking about. Do not depend on verbal instructions alone.
  • Always use good manners and be neat and clean in your appearance. Children will invariably copy the coach.
  • All children want all your attention at all times.
  • A great coach will strive to set a good example in everything he or she does.
  • Talk to your partner or other children and explain how they can be of help.

As a parent you will wear many hats. It is a big responsibility but one that will pay off many future dividends as each youngster influenced by a good parent coach develops into a mature individual. Oh yes, they may even become a Test cricket when they grow up.


If there is a short cut to proficiency in cricket I have never heard of it. The age old saying practice makes perfect applies more to this game than any other.

Mastering these skill activities is critical to a youngsters cricket development and playing self esteem. We achieve this by developing good habits creating a situation where youngsters will enjoy their cricket because they will be better at it.


Batting Program Pre-Competition

Batting Skill activities & why it is demonstrated


  1. Shadow Batting (at home players can use mirrors) - Demonstrates understanding of footwork and balanced stroke play whilst identifying technical deficiencies
  2. Hitting a Stationary Ball - Demonstrates footwork, hand, head position, balance (key component of batting) body weight transfer and timing deficiencies
  3. Hitting a Ball off a Tee or Witches Hat - Provides the Parent with a training tool to demonstrate advanced technique required to balance the transfer of weight when hitting
  4. Roll the Ball -  Creates balance and demonstrates the principle of timing and the importance of Head and feet to the Ball (Key note) when playing down the line
  5. Throw Downs - Allows the Parent to create a confidence situation, whilst coordinating disciplines associated with the correct batting technique
  6. To be used in reps x 10 for each discipline under supervision.


The activities listed are to establish basic technical skill and routine whilst providing simple practice of the most important elements of batting.


The top hand controls the bat. A strong top hand will be an advantage as the cricketer develops his stroke play, on and off side of the wicket.It will facilitate the opening and closing of the blade providing a greater array of shots whilst maintaining top hand control.


Head and feet position – Sight - Straight Back lift – Stability – Line - Selection - Balance – Technical Ability of the Required Discipline. (Shadow Batting or Tee)

Have the child come to the Attention position as if he standing at school assembly and then have the young cricketer come to an At ease position.

Place the bat on the ground in front of the child with the handle placed square but between his feet and the blade away from the body of the player.

Have the batsman pick the bat up as shown in fig.1



Place the bat behind the left toe of the shoe if Left Handed


Place the bat behind the right toe of the shoe if Right Handed.

It is important Batting become an instinct…



Taking the bat out of play, rolling the ball along the ground the Batsman uses the front leg only to move to the line of the ball to kick it away or stop it creating the awareness of the concept of foot work.

Example of Skill Activity


Introduce the bat and repeat the drill with the bat placed behind the front leg as the front leg meets the rolling ball.


Use underarm to begin and with competence move to throws.

Hitting off the front foot (Tennis Ball)

Place a ball on a batting cone. The Batter steps forward to strike the ball, ensuring balance and good position. This allows good access to the ball in order to achieve the required discipline - practice on and off side shots.


Hitting off the front foot (Tennis Ball)

The feeder rolls the ball along the ground slowly at first (low bounces). The Batter steps forward to strike the ball, ensuring balance and good position. This allows good access to the ball in order to achieve the required discipline - practice on and off side shots.


Use shadow batting to demonstrate the drills and explain

Use shadow batting to demonstrate the drills and explain


With improvement the young cricketer advances to underarm deliveries from the feeder, low bounces slowly at first, increasing to brisk with improvement. The Batsman steps forward to strike the ball, ensuring balance and good position. This allows good access to the ball in order to achieve the required discipline - practice on and off side shots.

With improvement advance or up the intensity of the drills

Demonstrate reinforce and encourage.

With improvement advance or up the intensity of the drills by introducing THROW DOWNS

Demonstrate reinforce and encourage.


At this point it is a good opportunity to explain the concept of the crease.

Demonstrate how a Batsman is able to take advantage of the area between the crease and the stumps.

Have the young batter learning to leave the odd delivery outside the line of the stump and then incorporate the back and front foot defensive stroke.

Demonstrate reinforce and encourage.

HELPFULL IDEAS: Ball in stocking


Batting Fundamentals


Grip bat, hands together, middle of bat handle, balanced, knees slightly bent, eyes level, side on.


Not too big, coordinate back swing with step, keep hands close to body


Stop, must-be-still and balanced (Try with eyes closed)

The Bat Swing or back Lift

Straight back, Down swing, bat speed and functional arms.
The Theory is…

Bowling Program Pre-Competition

Bowling Skill Activities

The skill activities listed are to establish the basic action or improve an existing action and to provide simple practice of the most important elements of bowling.


1/. Shadow Bowling.
Identifies technical deficiencies and demonstrates a child's understanding of the disciplines.

2/. The equation for the delivery stride:
Feet position / rock back / Stability / Balance /weight transfer / body rotation = Technical Ability of the Required Discipline. (Demonstrated by Shadow Bowling or mirror reflection)

3/. Step - Jump – Land – push*/Bowl/Follow Through at target.
(*initiate weight transfer)Allows Parent to demonstrate the principles involved in bowling providing simple practice to create the instinct. 

4/. Grip and Cast.
Provides the bowler with familiarity and feel for the ball - a requirement necessary to achieve the understanding and instinct of the discipline.

5/. Step One/Two/Three – Jump – Land – Push Bowl -Follow Through.
Demonstrates the advanced principle of bowling required to achieve the instinct of weight transfer.

6/. Bowl Downs
Allows the Parent to create a confidence situation, whilst coordinating disciplines associated with the correct bowling technique

To be used in reps of 3 x 10 for each discipline under supervision and with a partner

It is important bowling becomes an Athletic instinct…

 Some basic dynamic Bowling warm ups to start the session

Dynamic warms means to mimic routines or disciplines of the game invent your own



There are different grips for the different disciplines of bowling and these will be added to the manual as the program requires it.

The basic example is holding the cricket ball seam upright between the thumb and forefingers.




Holding the ball as demonstrated in Bowling Step 1.

Stand in a casting or dart throwing position. Cocking the arm and wrist, throw the ball, running the forefingers down the back of the seam of the ball on release allowing the ball to be released towards a partner to catch it and return. Practice until perfected.


This creates the feel and instinct required to achieve an important skill level of the discipline of Bowling. The activity can be adjusted to required skills of the many bowling disciplines.

All activities are to be incorporated to develop good habits.


STEP 3 STEP - Jump – Land

 The Basics for any Right Arm Bowler (opposite for left arm) is to visualize the target line and begin with a left leg step. From the left leg, jump to the right leg landing in the TALL “K” bowling position balanced on the ball of the right foot, Hips and shoulders (Trunk) square to popping crease (preferably), HEAD still and EYES and left knee set on TARGET.





STEP 4 STEP - Jump – Land - Bowl - Push at target (for weight transfer) and Follow Through.

In the Tall “K” Bowling position the front arm should be HIGH but allowing target SIGHT down the OUTER (preferably) or INNER part of the shoulder with bowling arm COCKED in front of the CHIN, front leg in RAISED rock back position to facilitate the required forward MOMENTUM that directs the front leg and front arm towards the target to complete the transition of the long release motion.


PRACTICE…the simple skill of leaping into the ideal Bowling Position illustrated below.

This is the most CRUCIAL and DEFINING moment in the bowling action and requires the bowler to hold this balanced position comfortably.

Refer above:

This is what we are trying to achieve.

The side on bowling action: Note the upright position of the body, the strength in cocked wrist and right shoulder, the high front arm allowing sight down left shoulder. The weight transfer is evidenced by the strength of the back leg balanced on the toe of the right boot as the run up momentum triggers the long release motion.

Note: the front leg position assisting balance.

This allows the strength of the Bowling Arm to follow the WEIGHT TRANSFER to trigger the release of the ball and the right leg which facilitates the follow through.

Why is the side on action so important?

Because it allows body rotation over the front leg and this is an essential ingredient for all the bowling disciplines and in particular line, drift, spin, leg cut and out-swing.


Having successfully executed the step jump shadow bowl drill the bowler should progress to the following drills:


1/. Ball release bowling to a partner with emphasis on technique: and


2/. Add steps/paces and a follow through with particular emphasis on the back leg release into the follow through.

Refer: Producing Cricketers Video

How to calculate the run up

Bowling Fundamentals

Ball Grip and release

Allowing the release of the Ball in order to achieve desired skill of the discipline

Run Up.

Coordinates balance and rhythm to achieve required momentum or rotation at point of weight transfer during the long release motion and to be cushioned by follow through.

Delivery Stride

Is achieved by jumping or leaping from the driving leg - to land balanced and (prefer side on) position on the opposite leg to allow what must become the instinctive momentum of weight transfer, to push the front arm and leg towards the target, and to be cushioned by follow through.

High Action and Follow Through

Supported by strong back leg (creates height), trunk and correct feet position, functional arms, Balance and Weight transfer.

Key point... High front arm facilitates rock back.

Demonstrate Reinforce and Encourage



Fielding Program Pre Competition

STEP 1 - Catching Drills

(There are hundreds of drills – here are some ideas)

Starting Out - Using a tennis ball.

The Child is in a balanced position arms in front of the body – hands open – finger outward – drop the ball into the hands of the child. Introduce one hand catching the same way.

STEP 2 – Catching & Bouncing Drills

The Child is in a balanced position knees slightly bent arms in front of the body – hands open – finger outward – gently underarm the ball for it to drop or bounce into the hands. Introduce one hand catching by throwing the ball wider.

Repeat / demonstrate / encourage / reinforce


STEP 3 – Catching & Bouncing Drills still with a soft ball

Begin in a balanced position leaning forward knees bent arms in front of the body at knee level – hands open – finger pointing to ground (palms outward). Introduce the higher ball demonstrating catching the ball with the palms upward.

Introduce some fun using right and left or both hands OR count the catches and try to break previous records.

Introduce another cricketer to exchange throws in attempt to inflict the first error (a dropped catch or miss field). The more advanced the group the more competitive the exercise can be.

STEP 4 – High Catching - Still with a soft ball.


In a balanced position standing upright knees bent arms in front of the body above the head – hands up – finger open to the sky (palms outward) – loop the ball for the child to practice catching the ball above the head.


Advance the skill by allowing fielders to alternate between backing up and attacking the ball to Under Arm it at a stump.

The Fielder having successfully backed up at the stump drops the ball and runs into a position 15 metres from the stump and turns to attack an under armed ball rolled at pace by the alternating fielder.

The exercise should be continuous and at pace without rest.

Take the ball – remember to give (cushion) with the ball, arms extended (for better sight) and ready to give… “soft hands” ** With improvement bring the bat into the drill.


STEP 5 – Introduce catching from a bat still with a soft ball

The children must become familiar with the ball rebounding from a bat at an early age. Make it fun count the continuous

Number of catches and stops or saves – try and beat the record last set.

STEP 6 – Ground Fielding - The Under Arm Drill

Place the ball on the ground.

The fielder runs to the ball balanced and in a forward position with knees bent. The exercise should be completed with equal left and right hands attempts. Attack the ball at pace to capture the ball to grip (I use the term capture because a pick up requires the ball to be lifted from the turf and this exercise must be achieved with minimum back lift and stiff arm using shoulder for power).


Demonstrate, reinforce and encourage

Only when the distance is greater than 15 metres should back lift be required in this activity and REMEMBER…it is important to keep the throwing arm straight and the wrist cocked when under arming ball.

Demonstrate, reinforce and encourage


STEP 7 – The Throwing Drill

The best development process for throwing, is throwing!!

The Ten Minute throwing program (six minutes for first two weeks) is a specific progressive skill program designed to not only build arm strength but to increase the athlete’s ability to throw the ball hard flat LONGER AND ACCURATE (Baseball gloves need to be in the kit by under 12 level or when harder balls are introduced).

When applied correctly, arm strength and endurance will be increased over a short period of time. The program is most effective when done four to five times a week but only introduce this when the children have reached competition standard.

The total program takes Ten minutes – this equates to fifty throws ((six minutes first two weeks or 30 throws).Build up to this level).

The Program Structure is as follows:

5 metres – five minutes…(3 mins) (15 throws each)

10 metres – three minutes…(2 mins)…(10 throws)

15 metres – two minutes…(1 min)…(5 throws)


The following should be executed during the program:

*NB… grip ball with middle & index fingers across the seam and on top of the ball…place thumb directly beneath (opposite) centre of middle & index fingers.


Concentrate on elbow being above shoulder height.

Standing in a side on position with left hip and leading shoulder at the target.

Raise the left arm as if reaching out towards the target whilst raising the right throwing arm bent at the elbow above the shoulder (Elbow above the shoulder at all times), with the wrist in a cocked position and both palms pointing to the ground.

Reaching out and stepping towards the target the elbow of the throwing arm leads wrist towards the target as the leading arm and shoulder recoils maintaining balance.

The Elbow always leads the ball hand as if it has been on missile lock.

As the Elbow passes the leading shoulder as the ball is released. Using a shadow throw you will note when in the correct position (as per diagram) your eyes will see the back of your wrists and middle & index fingers on the point of release.

The ball is to be thrown as flat as possible (head to target)

Follow through with body towards target for front on finish allowing wrist and hand to come down across the body outside lead leg.

Ball should be thrown with perfect backspin

Throw at no more than 50 to 60% effort increase to 70 % after 2 weeks

Your last 4 to 5 throws (3 in six minute program) should be near full effort.

After a period of time an extra minute or two extra metres can be added to the program and for longer distances you may need to throw with a slight arc and use a crow hop. Check the sun position.

Categories: None

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.