Junior Development – Creating Relevant Learning Environments

Cricket an interactive alternative towards achieving educational goals

By Cameron Tradell,

CLPUSA Wh logoJunior entry-level programs have a few different outcomes for the participants. Creating fun, inclusive learning environments is extremely important. The kids want to turn up every week if you can deliver on the experience.

This is only half the job. Ensuring the participants are learning vital skills to confidently and competently progress from entry-level fundamental skills programs into modified formats of the game is critical. Kids want to play the real thing as soon as possible.

Sometimes while we put the content of the programs together, with the best of intentions, we teach skills out of context of cricket. A game such a rapid fire we think is a game to teach batting. The fact is that the skill transfer between hitting a stationary ball off a tee and hitting a moving ball is minimal at best.

This is of course a great game, yet we have to mix it in with ample activities that have kids learning to track a moving ball, move into a position to hit the ball with a free swing of the bat, and of course hit the ball. We watch kids smash balls off tees and it’s easy to believe that they are ready to play cricket. The fact is they have to develop their motor skills to work in unison with a moving target.

Jr DevThe skills taught in activities to then transfer to game relevance is critical in the learning process. A way to gauge if the skill is appropriate or applicable is to think of how it is used in a game of cricket. Isolate the skill in context of how it is used in the game and then build activities around it to give it relevance to cricket. For example, once juniors become proficient at hitting a moving ball, add in hitting into space, then running between the wickets etc.

So while developing quality batting sessions don’t forget to challenge the kids, often, to hit a moving ball. The skill transfer from activity to game is far greater and the kids will be better prepared once they graduate to a modified or competitive format.

Originally posted on Linkedin

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