Cricket Australia Coaching
Coach of the Month - Trent Dickeson
Community Coach of the Month, Trent Dickeson, is a volunteer with the Master Blasters program at Sydney’s Kincumber-Avoca Cricket Club where he is benefitting greatly from his use of the CA Coaching app.
Trent was initially hesitant about using the app having found similar programs devised for other sports did not provide great clarity about implementing the exercises they described.
But the CA Coaching app has helped transform the way Trent teaches his group of entry-level players, aged seven to nine, by simplifying some of the technical aspects of cricket.
“I’m a big fan of the video content associated with the coaching drills,” he says.
“Sometimes when you read about a drill in words it’s hard to understand, but the videos bring them to life and make them very easy to put into practice.”
Trent cites the handball drill that helps kids learn front and back foot technique by stepping toward and away from a ball as one of the most useful batting videos.
For bowling, he employs the use of the “big fluffy tennis ball video” that helps bowlers learn to keep their arm straight because the ball will fall if they bend.
“I’ve coached football and it’s a pretty simple game for kids. You put a ball on the ground and they kick it".
“Cricket is a very technical sport and so at an early age group you need things that can simplify those techniques and I’ve found the app really good for that".
Another aspect of the game that is challenging for entry-level coaches, particularly, is teaching skills beyond just batting and bowling.
“On a cricket field it might look like it is just a bowler bowling and a batsman batting, but there is just so much going on in cricket game at the one time and it can be difficult to to teach all those skills at an early age,” says Trent.
To do this, Trent integrates the CA Coaching App's videos and session planning advice with his own ideas which include rotating three different skills over a three week period.
“We might concentrate on backing up (at the non-striker’s end), backing up in the field and getting down low to field a ball using the two different methods in one week.
“Then we’ll rotate one of those skills out so there is a new skill every week, but they’re getting a solid block of learning on each one.”
Trent can see even more opportunities for the CA Coaching App with skill exercises for even younger children – perhaps adding a level zero to the current level one, two and three – a suggested next step.
Meanwhile, he witnesses the benefits of his coaching by watching the kids who have passed through his Master Blasters program play in older-age games.
“On Saturday after my session I was watching kids who are 11 or 12 now hitting a hard cricket ball to a shortened boundary,” he says.
“Hearing the sound of the ball come of the middle of the bat or watching them bowl a full six ball over with no sundries, that’s a really nice reward for the work we’ve put in.”