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11 February 2003

Age 13-18

Once a boy reaches high school, all the basic cricket skills should be in place. Coaching lessons take the same format from grade four to grade twelve, only the intensity and technical aspects will gradually change as boys get older.

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Practice plan for high school learners – by the Neil Hosken Coaching Academy
Lessons are taken in the nets where each child is given a period to bat, while the remaining boys bowl. Nets should be divided into strong and weak groups so as to have strength on strength as much as possible.

Time must be set aside for fielding where catching, stopping and the basic concepts of fielding are practiced until done with ease.

Lessons should alternate between nets and a pitch practice, where boys practice under match circumstances. The coach must use this time to coach fielding positions as well as basic game strategy.

Matric boys should be very intense with fitness training sessions and technical or strategic analysis of past games and player techniques. Whereas younger boys will stick to the basic lesson structure. The smaller the size of the practice group, the better if you want to achieve optimum results.

With regard to injuries there are so many which can occur, however, these usually become serious in higher age groups. The only way to avoid these injuries is to warm up properly every time any exercise is done. Boys must ensure that the correct muscles, for their discipline of the game, are warmed up correctly. For example, bowlers must make sure upper body, shoulders, back and legs are properly warm! Hamstrings are always the most vulnerable. The only way to help is to stretch.

Strength training in the gym for older boys will help with bowling speed and how hard they hit the ball when batting.

The stronger the muscle, the less chance of it giving you a problem. A warm down at the end of match or practice consisting of a short jog and more stretching is always advisable. This limits the build-up of lactic acid and prevents stiffness.

For more information call the Neil Hosken Coaching Academy on (031) 201 5609 or e-mail them on nhca@webmail.co.za

 
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