Cricket…Australia’s national pastime and great game that many of us like to play on special holidays such as Christmas Day or Australia Day. It’s also a great game to play for the dedicated athletes, as a professional career offers a great lifestyle (not to mention a handy pay check these days with test matches, one-dayer’s and the highly lucrative T20’s).
But it all must start from somewhere and finding a great coach or mentors to learn the skills and subtleties of the game from is very important if you want to become a good cricket player.
For young children, there are many options available to get cricket coaching in Melbourne, and in today’s article we’ll look at some of the places your child can get involved.
Holiday based cricket camps are one of the best ways to introduce your child to cricket – or if they are already playing – take their skills and passion to the next level. Australian Sports Camps has been running cricket camps in Melbourne and around Australia for over 35 years.
The camps are tailored to each child’s skill level so they will be grouped with other kids of the same age and ability.
Over the years many of Australia’s (and the world’s) most famous and successful cricket starts have come through The Australian Sports Camps programs both as students and as coaches including:
- Justin Langer
- Dean Jones
- Brad Hodge
- Chris Hartley
- Doug Walters
- Stuart Law
- Joel Garner, and many many more
Some more benefits of these 3-day cricket camps include:
- Specialist skills program including nets sessions, centre wicket play, bowling machines sessions, fielding skills, running between wickets and dedicated training sessions for all types of bowling (fast, swing and spin bowling), wicketkeeping and batting technique.
- Training sessions with some of Australia’s best international cricket stars and qualified coaching panels.
- Video analysis using state of the art digital video capture & playback software
- State of the art facilities and full equipment included such as…
- age-specific kits and gear.
- bowling machines.
- turf/synthetic nets.
- indoor facilities in the case of rain or extreme heat.
- Unique written coaches reports with great feedback so your child know what they need to focus on and what strengths they can develop.
- Discounts for families, and groups from clubs or schools.
The quality of the coaches at these camps is second to none and is also a great way to keep you child occupied during the school holidays.
Many of Australia’s best cricketers started their love of the game in the schoolyard and through local school competitions.
Many schools include cricket as part of their physical education curriculum and many also have school teams who compete against other local schools. If your child is interested in joining the school team you should call the school to find out how they enrol to ensure they don’t miss out as positions can often fill up fast.
Your child may also be able to borrow cricket equipment from the sports shed at lunchtimes to play with their friends in the school yard, which is a great way to develop skills whilst having fun.
Local Junior Competitions
Grassroots cricket is alive and well in Australia, with most suburbs having cricket clubs that have junior teams for all age levels. Joining a local cricket team can be great fun but it is also a big commitment, with regular practices and games each week. So, you want to be sure your child is dedicated before paying the sometimes-hefty registration fee and buying all the required equipment.
If your child is committed to playing cricket then joining a local team will make them into a better player, especially if you find a club with a knowledgeable and friendly coach and dedicated support staff.
Local Neighbourhood Cricket
The great thing about cricket is all you need is a bat and a ball and small bit of space to get started. For generations kids have played cricket all over their neighbourhoods including:
- In the backyard
- In the front driveway
- Down the local nets
- Street cricket (if you live in a cul de sac)
- In the local park
For kids learning the game of cricket it can be very productive playing with other neighbourhood kids who are a little older and a little more skilled as they can learn through participation. As a kid playing cricket with friends on the weekends and after school can be a huge source of joy and is also great for developing fitness, getting them away from technology and making friends in the neighbourhood.
If you yourself have a background in cricket, then that is often the best way to get your child started. Set-up some stump out the backyard or in the driveway and start teaching some of the fundamentals of bowling batting and fielding. There are loads of simple exercises online that you can teach your kids and even ones they can do by themselves when you’re too busy.
With so many options close by to start developing skills and more passion for the game of cricket there really is no excuse if that’s something your child wants to try. Start small and who know they may just become the next Australian Test Captain.