Summer term training
In 2020 we adjusted our coaching to be in strict compliance with the ECB's Covid-Secure guidance for cricket. We will be following government and ECB guidance again in 2021.
Cancellation of outdoor training due to rain / wet ground
In summer, outdoor training is cancelled when it is not possible to enjoyably and safely train on grass - i.e. due to rain/high winds/lightning and/or the ground is wet and slippery. We aim to let you know as quickly as possible when we know that training needs to be cancelled. We use the Whatsapp messaging app as our primary means of communicating this to you. In the summer, there will be a Whatsapp group for parents in each squad.
What to expect at training sessions during COVID-19 restrictions?
These are currently 2020 details to be updated in due course for 2021, but we expect measures to be very similar to those used in 2020.
Health and safety will be priority
We will be running the best training sessions possible while staying complaint with government and England & Wales Cricket Board's guidelines, as well as general safety guidelines for the coaching of junior cricket. The guidance is likely to change over time and we will adapt accordingly.
Equipment to bring
Players must bring their own balls and cricket equipment.
Girls/boys in Reception & Year 1: Wind ball and plastic bat (All Stars bat or kwik cricket, probably bat size 0 or possibly size 2)
Girls/boys in Year 2: Wind ball or incrediball and plastic bat (probably size 2)
Boys in years 3-4: incrediball and plastic or wooden bat (probably around size 1 or 2)
Boys in years 5-9: 4¾ oz junior leather cricket ball + full hard ball kit (see below)
Boys in year 10: 5½ oz senior leather cricket ball + full hard ball kit (see below)
Girls in years 3-6: incrediball + plastic or wooden bat (probably around size 2-4)
Girls in years 7+: 4¾ oz junior leather cricket ball + full hard ball kit (see below)
Hard-ball kit = pads, batting gloves, box (boys) and helmet.
SMCC/coaches will not be providing any hard-ball protective equipment.
Club shirts and caps are normally on sale from the bar in limited numbers. For training, cricket clothing is not required; any clothing suitable for sport is fine. For matches against other clubs, whites are expected, but club shirts are not mandatory.
See our section on Equipment for further information, buying tips and links to online and local retailers.
How to arrive and leave
We have a relatively small car park with a narrow entrance/exit. Please walk or cycle if possible. Please be considerate of other car park users if you need to drive. Do not at any time park on the emergency vehicle access route marked in yellow paint on the ground. Do not block other cars in the car park. Consider dropping off and picking up near the club rather than using the car park. Please note the crossing by the club lacks pedestrian crossing lights.
We will have hand sanitiser available, but please also bring your own hand sanitiser (min 60% alcohol) for use around the ground and apply it your and your children's hands on arrival.
Walk in via white gate
Keep your child with you (do not allow them to run off)
Register at the entrance table.
You will be told which training zone to go to.
Upon arrival, stay within the designated waiting area until instructed by coaches to go to your designated training zone.
At end of session, please follow government guidance regarding social distancing and leave promptly rather than staying to socialise in a large group.
Walk out via the gap at the other end of car park (exit table).
Ensure you take everything with you, including all litter. Do not dispose of any litter anywhere at the club.
Once again, apply hand sanitiser (min 60% alcohol) as you leave the club. Wash hands as soon as you get home.
Rules for parents/guardians
As with all of our coached training sessions, parents may leave children with the coaches for the specified time of the training session only. Before and after the session, your child is entirely your responsibility. Do not drop off early and ensure you pick up on time. Older children (in line with most schools, we expect children to be in year 6 or above) may travel to and from the club on their own with parental consent.
Our policy for junior training will be the same as for use of nets "Spectating is not permitted, other than where the attendance of a parent/guardian (non-participant) or a carer for a disabled player is required. This must be limited to one per player where possible, with social distancing strictly observed while watching the sessions."
Avoid bringing siblings where possible. Any siblings must be suitably supervised.
Government social distancing rules apply at all times.
Everyone at the club must stay at least 2m apart at all times (other than members of the same household).
There will be no cooked food on sale. Do not share food or drinks.
Use your own hand sanitiser before and after touching anything at the club.
Toilets will be open. Please supervise young children. Avoid touching doors, walls, etc. Please use hand sanitiser as well as soap and water.
Rules for players (parents please explain to your players these in advance of first session)
Prior to the session beginning, players will be instructed on the health and safety protocol by coaches. SMCC will be following the latest ECB guidelines.
Players must stay at least 2m apart at all times.
Players much avoid touching hands to face at all times.
Players may touch only their own cricket equipment throughout the session.
Coaches and club reserve the right to refuse to allow a child to continue to train if not following the guidelines.
Information below this point describes a normal (non-Covid affected) summer
A typical summer training session, outdoors on the lower pitch at our home ground.
What would a typical training session be like normally?
Training sessions generally follow the ECB’s recommended best practice, for example for U6-U8s, a session might look like this:
Short, highly active warm-up (e.g. a team-based throwing/catching game)
Focused demonstration and practice on learning and practising 1-2 particular skills (e.g. driving at a ball placed on a tee)
Using the skill in a more varied, more game-like, but still controlled practice activity (e.g. players work in pairs; one feeds the ball for the other to practice driving)
Match-like activity (e.g. two teams playing competitive ‘tip and run’ cricket with bonus runs for hitting the ball straight - i.e. driving)
Cool-down and recap/evaluation talk from coach
However, sessions tend to be tailored to the needs of the players attending, and will be varied to keep them interesting.
What skills will players learn at outdoor training?
Outdoor training in the summer has a focus on developing players' understanding of how to play the game as a team - the rules, calling and running between the wickets, working as a team in the field and tactics and decision-making depending on the match situation. Indoor training over the winter and spring has a bit more focus on developing individual players' skills - bowling, batting, catching, throwing and keeping wicket. However, both indoor and outdoor training will cover core all skills and will incorporate game-based practice.
Even in the youngest age groups, we aim to teach all of the players a full range of cricket skills. By the end of a full course, new players are typically able to play a recognisable game of cricket in which they are bowling, batting, calling, running, keeping wicket and fielding. Coaches will usually focus on one or two key skills per session, gradually covering a full range of skills over the course. New players also pick up much of their understanding of the game by watching and copying their more experienced squad-mates. Of course, the more cricket that players play, the more skilled they will become. Cricket is a fairly easy game to learn, but a difficult game to truly master, which is partly what makes it so much fun.
Head coach Robbie holding an end of session recap with one of our winter training groups.
Head coach Lloyd running a summer camp.
Our coaching providers, 360 Cricket
Since 2017, we have been partnering with 360 Cricket for the provision of all of our junior coaching. 360 Cricket is co-owned and run by Robbie Gunn and Lloyd Edwards.
As well as leading our coaching, Robbie & Lloyd's coaching experience includes:
Coaching for various private schools and other clubs in London
Coaching Chance To Shine sessions in state schools
Leading Pride of Lions courses for Surrey at the Oval
Coaching a pro-am T20 franchise team that included England players Monty Panesar and Liam Dawson
And in in 2020, 360 Cricket will also become the first London branch of Joe Root's Root66 Academy
Robbie and Lloyd are also exceptional players. In 2017, Robbie played in the final of the Natwest National T20 Club Cup, a game featuring numerous former first class and international players.
Lloyd is a qualified PE teacher who has worked in schools in London.
360 Cricket bring with them a number of other great coaches, including some former professional players, some who coach for Surrey and/or London Schools Cricket Association and some who are multi-sports coaches in schools, and as well as working with coaches and support coaches who are parents, senior players at the club and some of our Young Leaders.
We plan for a maximum coach:player ratio of around 1:7, which typically means a ratio closer to 1:5 on average across all sessions.