Should probably start by saying that I passed my ECB Core Coach Course at the weekend. This is the new course replacing the old Level Two and no longer required coaching to be observed at your club as it has been restructured into Four Days consisting of 14 Modules (delivered online and face face), a number of assessments, a multiple choice exam and a discussion about future developments, use of the qualification and any next steps.
My plan is to use the qualification to deliver the ideas I have previously documented regards Development Cricket and to take my ECB Advanced Course (the old Level 3) most probably at the beginning of 2023.
My Off Season work continues but with the old injuries much improved I have started to focus more on game specific areas, helped in no small part by the weekly nets I have been having for a couple of months now at Edgbaston. I am pretty settled now on my stance (more upright and balances), grip, guard (middle) and no trigger movement. I am working pretty much solely on leading into the shot with my head, keeping the bat face straight (especially on leg side) and a shorter stride to provide better balance, and to force me into playing the ball later. I am pleased with the progress and must be doing something right as Warwickshire Over 60’s have asked me to join them but I am not sure about my eligibility and Staffordshire are also talking to me. A lot to be honest will depend on how they want to use me! The nets and ECB Course have confirmed to me that I want to bat 5, bowl regularly and contribute in the field in a number of positions – close catching, cover/mid wicket and in the death overs on the boundary to catch. I am not an opener and am not comfortable with forcing myself to become one. I suspect at Barlaston that will be a role I am pencilled in for with the Development Team but combine that with never bowling and my motivation is to play for the Sunday 3rd Team (which is the first team as we only field two teams on a Sunday) and hopefully get a few games on a Saturday for the 2s to keep challenging myself.
I have become very involved with the wandering Heaven Help Us Cricket Club, and there are a number of games confirmed already. These are spread over Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays so I hope to play in most of them, which would be good as I am Captain!
Add in Senior County after July on a Tuesday and it could be a busy season.
Which is why I am focussing very much on my core strength at the moment and running, both of which are significantly better than they have been for many a year, never mind last season.
It is rather daunting how quickly April 23rd is approaching (the start of the season although most likely the 24th for me) and with Barlaston planning some pre season friendlies in April, Heaven Help Us scheduled to play in April and Staffordshire Seniors planning some trial games in April it only really leave me with 6 weeks to really focus on the above, which isn’t very long but probably long enough if I get stuck in.