Sunday, 23 February 2014

A new season, a new start.

There's some exciting developments at Stafford CC. After struggling to put out four full teams a couple of years ago we've now found ourselves with probably enough players to field a fifth team, and yours truly has been invited to lead this new experiment as captain. It's a very interesting new challenge for me, but it will be a massive task to keep a team together when we're short of players, especially given there's now four other teams with first pick, each capable of kiboshing my plans as drop-outs work their way down through the teams.

There's a short but very good piece on the Pitchvision website about the six important roles a club captain has to perform. It lists these as Selector, Tactician, Motivator, Rudder, Coach and Player. It's just about the best summary I've found anywhere, but in those six words lies a whole host of challenges and countless opportunities to screw up big time. I've only captained four matches so far, and they've been a bit hit-and-miss, but the big difference is this season I won't be a mere stand-in, it's MY team, and I can develop relationships and give people clear roles and forge a strong team identity. My opportunity here is much greater than it would be had I taken over the Fourths, as with a new team there's no "well this is the way our old skipper did things" to get in the way. Wish me luck, because I'm really going to need it...

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

First net of the season

We're back in business for 2014, with my first net session taking place last night. There was a net session last week but I had stuff to do and had to skip it unfortunately. Last night was the first net for the U17s, so ahead of the seniors I had the luxury of an hour bowling to the little ones to get my mojo back.

For my first time bowling in two or three months it went reasonably well, although the speed was still pretty slow. There was a little movement in flight in evidence so that's a big tick as that means I've got some decent spin going. Added to that I stripped a bit of skin of the knuckle of my spinning finger, so it's fair to say I was trying... The end product was OK if we add in the caveat "at this stage of the season", and given that this is now my fifth pre-season I can feel I've started to get the hang of what to concentrate on and what not to worry too much about. There were a couple of balls that looped up and landed on the top of the net, and it really wouldn't be pre-season without them, but in the main I was very happy with how it went, and I think bowling at the juniors in October and November has prevented me from accumulating that thick coat of rust that I've struggled with previously.

As for batting, honestly after a couple of deliveries it hardly felt like I'd been away. That doesn't mean I batted well, just that it was the same as ever. I need to work on really watching the ball closely, but other than that it was nice to feel bat on ball again and I just need to keep showing up and keep facing deliveries. Whatever technical faults I have at this stage I need to work on seeing the ball better before I tackle them, so it's just about racking up experience.

Apologies if there's a lack of substance to this post, but as you can probably tell there simply isn't anything else worth saying. Good start and, er, that's it...