The Crazy Catch rebound net is a great resource for many training drills. Chris Taylor of Profielder shows us how you can use Crazy Catch to do 5 innovative Cricket training drills. The perfect combination of videos, written word and diagrams gives all the info a coach/player needs to deliver outstanding fielding training sessions including expert tips, key coaching points and progressions.
Crazy Catch is the world’s number one cricket training aid used by top international teams and players including Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler but is equally as fun for use at home in the garden for aspiring players of all age and ability. One net, two different sides including an INSANE rebound which will improve your cricket skills and provide extra fun and variety with any training drill. Train alone or great for club/school team training.
WK STANDING UP
The coach or feeder stands just off the should of the wicket-keeper demonstrating the correct posture and starting position (see coaching points) either on the offside or leg side and feeds the ball onto the sane side of the Crazy Catch. The wicketkeeper is looking to collect the incoming ball and take the bails off quickly in one fluid movement, ready for the next ball in.
As a wicket-keeper you should always look to take the bails in any drill or practice situation so it becomes second nature. It also gives the opportunity of creating a wicket by stumping if there is any slight drag of the batsperson's foot off the crease.
TAKE AND BREAK
Your wicket-keeper self feeds their own throws onto the Crazy Catch net then use the moment of the throw to swipe the ball to the stumps. Repetition is key once the technique is mastered. This technique is the “in front” method which modern wicket keepers are using as its quicker than the tradition “behind” method where a second arm movement is needed to take off the bails.
Understanding where your stumps are is absolutely key in this drill. Position your right foot at the base of the stumps (post leg) and that leaves your left foot to be flexible and pivot to the direction the ball. The laws of cricket allow you to remove the bails with your hand or ARM, providing the ball is held with such arm. Encourage your wicket-keeper be creative in using their body and momentum to dislodge the bails for example the use of spins.
SEIZE THE RUN OUT
Random feeds onto either side of the Crazy Catch, looking for speed off the mark and getting rid of the glove quickly to present the throwing hand. Players should work on getting inline to the “target” stumps when throwing.
The best teams in the world hit the stumps 1 in every 4 or 5 times, so manage your expectations especially with younger players. Speed to the ball, pick up and alignment to the target are 3 key factors to hitting the stumps success. Adding a turn on pick up can add more power to a throw. AIM! Look at the base of the stumps before release
CLOSE UP CATCHES
The coach/feeder throws balls into each side of the Crazy Catch net for the fielders to make reaction catches. Skim throws work well (as well as feeds on the full). It’s possible to feed alternate players or them both together. Every so often the coach shouts the word “SAFE” and the fielders get into their safe positions as quick as they can. Ensure fielders practice both positions and switch over roles.
Most important thing about fielding at silly point or short leg is that you must be safe. Arrange a safe word and when the coach shouts that it signals the batsman is playing an aggressive shot so both fielders go into their safe positions. The safe position for silly point is a jump up whilst turning your back on the ball – you’re looking to protect your feet and ankles here, as most off shots are on the floor. Sweep or pull shots on the leg side are generally in the air, so you’re looking to get as small as you can at the short leg safe position – protecting any exposed joints like hands and elbows by folding into a deep squat.
TUMBLE PICK UPS
This is a two phase drill with two run out techniques practiced. The first is a close up underarm shy at the stumps picking up a moving ball and the second being a wider ball with a second player having to react with a slide, dive or tumble to collect the ball and look for a direct hit at the stumps.
Look to introduce the tumble first ... the fielder is looking to land on the back of their shoulder blade as its nice and easy on the body. Contact point is the shoulder blade ... right shoulder blade when moving right or left shoulder blade when moving left. When the fielder gets up, they should be facing the wicket and can look to convert those run out chances.