We have come to the end of our first full week of our ‘At Home Cricket’ challenge and what a week it has been with lots of you getting involved! We will be writing weekly blogs to explain each of the videos in turn for those who want to know how these challenges can help with your cricket. This instalment of the blog will include six challenges as it will include the challenge set on our first Friday! In more positive news, it looks like the weather in Buckinghamshire, where we are based, is set to be scorching with sunshine for the next week… lots of opportunity to film the future challenges!
Day 1 - Bat keep-ups/Around the world
As you can see from the video there are three difficulty levels as it were to this challenge. All three difficulty levels are a great way to get your eye in before you go into bat. To be able to consistently bounce the ball on the face of that bat or side of bat will help to improve your hand eye coordination, which is a key skill for any aspiring cricketer. Make sure you keep your eyes on the prize (the ball) the whole time!
Day 2 - Catch behind back
This is simply a bit of a fun challenge really. Despite this, it may well help with your spatial awareness and hand eye coordination.
Day 3 - Head over ball for front foot shots
When playing a front foot shot when batting, it is crucial to make sure that your head is over the ball. The reason for this is because we want to avoid hitting the ball in the air and potentially getting caught. The other key advice here is to get your weight on your front foot to ensure that your power is going into the shot but with a downwards momentum. If you have your weight on your back foot then naturally you will find that the ball will end up in the air! This drill is important because if you get your head over the ball it is very difficult to have your weight not on the front foot, which will mean your positioning will fall into place and the ball will be hit along the ground.
Day 4 - Keep head upright whilst bowling
When bowling, it is important to think about straight lines and it is very hard to bowl in straight lines when your head is wayward. The idea behind this challenge is to make sure that you are keeping your head upright throughout your action. Of course it will be very difficult to do your full action without dropping the cup (or whatever object you choose to use) but this challenge will get you into the rhythm of keeping your head straight. The best way to see how straight your head is when you are bowling is to get someone to film you and watch it back. You will then be able to see where you may be going wrong and can work on anything specific you spot going forward.
Day 5 - Reaction catching
This one is an easy one you can do on your own, even inside (as long as you make sure you are away from anything that could break easily!). By throwing the ball on the back of the bat it will come back to you at different angles, which will test your quick reactions. For any fielder on the pitch, it is essential to have good reactions as the ball can come to you at any time.
There will be more reaction catching challenges coming in future weeks so stay tuned!
Day 6 - Throw into keeper
As mentioned in the video, when we throw the ball into the wicket keeper we want to ensure that it is just above the wicket so the keeper can catch it easily. For those beginners amongst us, make sure to use your non throwing arm to point at the target. In addition, following through once you have thrown the ball will help the momentum to keep going into your throw, which will provide the ball with more power. By balancing a coke can on the middle stump, this will give you a target to aim at and this will represent the wicket keepers gloves. Other objects you could use could be a shoe box, stack of plastic cups or loo roll (if you are one of the lucky ones) to name but a few.
We are looking to make it easier for everyone to send in their videos and will be launching a WhatsApp number you can send your videos to in due course. We will update you on this when we have this up and running. In the meantime, keep sending in your videos via Instagram or email to email@example.com.
Stay safe. Stay at home. Stay involved in cricket.
Wishing you all the best at this difficult time!
The Cricket Vision Team