The passion and number of cricket players in Japan have increased considerably compared to the venues and cricket coaching facilities. Weekend Cricket in Japan is filled with intense rivalries. Along with seniors, students, the young generation taking up this sport is relying on help from friends, seniors and demanding parents to improve their skills.
A very few achieve results and the remaining still look for a mentor to help them out. Some of the young active players are undergoing 3 to 6 months of professional coaching in India, the UK and Australia.
The missing link that eludes Japan club cricket is the presence of professional cricket coaching.
With the arrival of Simon Dart, things could change soon. A former Victorian batsman left his professional cricket job in Victoria to take up the High-Performance Manager position in Japan Cricket Association with an aim to help Japan National team to raise the cricket level. He is also a former U19 Australia player with numerous overseas tours and cricket coaching stints.
In his initial cricket journey, Simon has played alongside Brad Hodge and Shane Watson to name a few and was part of the Australia high-performance academy led by Rod Marsh.
With that exposure, Simon Dart brings vast experience in technicality, mental aspect, leadership and organization. During a visit to Sano in March, I met Simon Dart & Alan Curr ( Head of Cricket Operations, JCA) to know more about their plans for the national team (to be covered in a separate article).
During the discussion, an opportunity opened up to create a structure that would open access to professional cricket coaching to players in Japan who are looking to improve their Cricket skills.
With this opportunity, JCA and CRICJP collaboration continue to grow further to launch ” First professional coaching set up in Japan.”
To gain hands-on experience, I decided to have a 2-hour session.
The Cricket coaching program is available for Individual players, Teams and Clubs.
The session was done before the start of the 2021 Cricket season so focus was on to finetune basics and develop a mindset for consistent performance. After 5 minutes of discussion, I had clear targets in mind to get out this session.
Cricket coaching will take place at the beautiful Sano International Cricket ground.
This means that training will be focused on the specific needs of a player. Every player will be able to connect to these cricket coaching sessions and with the right implementation could see immediate benefits. Last year, I focussed on basics and aim to stay as many balls as possible and it yielded good results so I decided to finetune them further.
Based on my needs and looking at playing style, the session was divided into 3 parts.
In the first part, the focus was on the set-up at the Crease and routine at the start of an inning. It includes batting stance, understanding area of play, weight transfer, balance, footwork and playing in v to get inning going.
The second part was about understanding more about the game in middle overs and increasing the range of stroke to increase strike rate. ( focus on cut and sweep shots)
In the last part, I worked on positive footwork against spin bowling and getting insight about how professional players approach their game.
I started the session not knowing what to expect and finished with the knowledge of things I am doing correctly and important advice in terms of technique, footwork, shot selection, training routine and much more.
Again, these Cricket coaching sessions can be generic who need to learn the basics of the game or very specific to players needs. The training structure is flexible to ensure players are benefitted from each session.
SIMON is very passionate about coaching and ensures that sessions are not finished until we player it right or understands the concept.
Players struggle with confidence.
Every player at various levels, battle with things such as fear of failure, lack of technique, skills, injuries, fitness plan, unable to stay focussed for a longer period of time and much more.
Some are looking to score 10-20-30~40 runs regularly or get 50 or 100 or convert the 50’s to 100. Bowlers are looking to increase their pace, variations. Fielders and Wicketkeeper might be looking at various ways to improve catching, wicket-keeping skills, training drills on weekdays, practice drills before the game, during the week.
Few are curious to understand how elite players prepare and what drives them to perform and how they overcome chaos to keep their focus on the field.
Simon Dart experience of working in a High-performance group in Cricket Australia and breaking down that info to players to improve their skills could be key for building and improving the skillset of players in Japan.
After going through the few sessions and successful implementation & results will be visible in terms of confidence, runs and wickets. These Cricket Coaching sessions will be available at nominal fees to players and teams.
Parents who are looking for a good coach to improve their pupil skills in the right direction might find these sessions immensely useful..
Professional Cricket Coaching benefits
- Get into the right routines at the crease, at the start of the inning, batting drill, and facing every ball,
- Basics of all playing shots. (defence, drive, cut, pull etc)
- To be in the right mindset before the start and during the game,
- Better shot selection,
- Pacing the inning,
- Fitness advice and right drills,
- Warmup drills before the game,
- Footwork improvement
- Know right warm-up drills for batsman, bowler and fielders on match days, on the field, off the field. Players could be right on target with a focussed mindset as soon as they enter the field.
- How to keep a hold on the match in various sessions and scenarios
- Advice on batting line up based player skills, batting in partnership,
- Advice on batting and bowling in partnerships,
- Suggestions to improve the rotation of strike,
- Many teams have a tendency to lose matches from winning position. So the valuable tips, advice will come in handy when teams are in those situations.
- Organize themselves before the match,
- Right mindset and focus during the game,
- Team Management and Man management skills,
- Building a better organization structure,
- Warmup drills before the game and during weekdays,
- Good Training plan to improve rhythm,
- Better control and consistency on line and length,
- Advice on the right posture,
- Setting up Batsman,
- Field positions,
- Creating a plan for bowling in various situations,
- Adding Variations
Initiation of this Cricket coaching program is aimed towards creating a positive step towards the development of Cricket in Japan. By collaboration with overseas clubs, there is the possibility of developing players skillset further.
This year, the Cricket Coaching program will be CRICJP exclusive activity.
The Program will kick off in the month of June. This session will be first come first serve basis. The detailed structure shall be announced soon.
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