Two cricket fielding drills that will work on catching and throwing
Cricket fielding drills are an essential part of all cricket training programmes. The two most important aspects of fielding are catching and throwing and these skills need to be worked on during cricket fielding drills.
A well-honed fielding unit is a valuable asset to any cricket side and can make all the difference in winning and losing matches. In tandem with a strong bowling attack, fielders can help to apply pressure to opposition batsmen by restricting the amount of easy runs scored through sloppy handling in the outfield. This will force batsmen to try and hit more risky shots to try and reach the boundary, thus providing more opportunities for the fielding team to make catches.
While it is down to the captain and coach to decide on cricket fielding positions on the day, catching and throwing fielding drills should be used during training to ensure that when the time comes in a match situation to make that catch or unleash an accurate throw, the players are primed and ready.
Cricket fielding drills should be used at all levels of the game from junior right up to the professional ranks. Speed, hand-eye coordination, alertness, accuracy and concentration are factors that will be worked on when performing fielding drills.
There are numerous fielding drills that can be used to work on catching and throwing. Below are two simple but very effective fielding drills to use that are particularly useful when working with younger cricket players.
Baseball racing game
This drill is very effective for working on both catching and throwing. It is based on the principle of baseball.
Set out five different coloured cones with four in the shape of a square and the fifth cone in the middle. A set of stumps is placed midway between two end cones. The idea is to have one team of five players running around the outside of each cone trying to make it back to the stumps. Four players from the other team stand at each outside cone with the fifth player starting at the stumps.
To start, the first player from the running team starts making their way around the outside of the square from the stumps. At the same time, the fifth player form the fielding team runs to the centre cone and picks up the ball and throws it to a player standing on the outside cone. The ball is thrown to each player at a cone until it is thrown back to the starting player at the stumps.
The aim is to have completed five throws and catches before the running player has made it back to the stumps.
This practices throwing accuracy and catching under pressure.
Quick-fire stump hitting
This drill is particularly effective for improving throwing.
To set up, lay out five stumps across the pitch. Place two cones around ten metres either side of each set of stumps. In pairs, one player runs to the cones on the left of the stumps where they pick up a ball and aim to hit the wicket. They then run around the stumps before moving onto the next cone and repeating the action until all five balls have been thrown.
At the same time, the partner stands behind each stumps and is ready to catch the ball if it is off target.
To change the drill up, each player can be timed. Also, the coach can roll the ball to the player at each cone to practice on quick pick-up technique.