Information for parents
As a youth section in an amateur cricket club we have 4 main objectives:
- To be a fair, inclusive and transparent club who gives everyone a go with equal opportunities in order to help each player reach their full potential
- To develop senior players of the future, remembering that many of our own 1st XI played youth cricket at Ashfield
- To help nurture a love of the game of cricket and its values of sportsmanship and fairness
While this stage in your child’s cricketing experience is a fantastic time, it does have associated challenges.
OBJECTIVES U5 – U8 JUNIOR CRICKET
In the U5 – U8 age groups the main emphasis is providing children with a fun and active involvement in cricket, which begins with participation in our AllStars programme.
As children progress through this age group they will become more equipped to start playing cricket matches, but in their more formative cricket years they will mainly take part in coaching activities that help develop discrete batting, bowling and fielding skills.
By the end of this period, they should have the building blocks necessary to start playing more competitive matches.
OBJECTIVES U9 – U11 JUNIOR CRICKET
The Club’s role in U9 – U11 cricket is to inspire this age group to love the game of cricket, to enjoy both training and learning and to begin to understand the values/benefits of playing competitive cricket at a club such as Moseley Ashfield.
We want to build a supportive and social environment that gives equal opportunities for young players to learn the skills of learning, to develop their cricket-specific technical skills and to have a set of foundation skills that enable them to play matches. During this period, their cricket moves from soft-ball to hard-ball. Matches are mostly in the form of 8-a-side pairs cricket, but for the more advanced, they may take part in 11-a-side fixtures.
The skills they learn at this stage will help prepare them for when the game gets faster, harder and more competitive, to participate in healthy sporting activities and to build friendships with players within the club. Those with an appropriate level of technical, tactical and physical attribute may be nominated for trials with the Warwickshire County Board Youth Section.
OBJECTIVES U12 – U15 JUNIOR CRICKET
Generally, by 12-15 years of age children will generally start to focus on a smaller number of sports that they take more seriously. The development of the children remains paramount, but the competitive nature of the games will increase and there are more likely to be competitions, especially at U13 and U15, where often teams will be selected on ability. However, there will be competitions where all abilities will compete.
The main aim within these age groups will be development. If players are thought to be ready to be nominated for county trials, play above their age level, and play for the senior teams, then this will be reviewed on an individual basis.
OBJECTIVES Post-15 JUNIOR CRICKET
By the age of 15 many players will be playing adult cricket on a regular basis in our senior teams, but there will still be an emphasis on developing the technical and mental skills that they will need for a successful transition. Our Director of Cricket will be in close discussion with coaches and age group managers (AGMs) to identify the most appropriate pathway into adult cricket. There will also be U17 and U19 teams for those in school years 11, 12 and 13 to maintain the playing relationships and mutually supportive network that they have already established.
OUR OUTLOOK ON MATCH PLAY
Our main objective in playing games is in development and learning. Children will naturally play with a winning attitude; however, we want to ensure they play to win with an understanding, and within a supportive, encouraging and learning environment. Winning is naturally important to the players but it is not the be all and end all.
We value sportsmanship and balancing competitiveness with showing respect for our opponents all within the spirit of cricket.
OUR APPROACH TO SELECTION
We will try to select an appropriately competitive and balanced team where possible, but we will also balance that with giving boys and girls throughout the age group match exposure.
- Your Age Group Manager (AGM) works hard to ensure that everyone – including the opposition – gets a good game and is tested appropriately. We want as many players as possible to get a good amount of match exposure at the right level. Please trust and help your AGM to manage this process.
- There are lots of different types of matches – League matches, Cup matches and Friendlies. Some matches are in a Development League, which will feature a larger number of less experienced players. There are also friendlies, where the standard will vary.
- Your AGM will try to ensure that less able players are not exposed at an inappropriate level. However, he will attempt to push your child’s learning by getting them to play at a level that challenges them.
Please respect the AGM, because it is not an easy job and they are volunteers who are doing their best by the children playing in the team. If you have an issue, please speak to them respectfully so you can work together to come to a resolution which benefits the cricket development of your child.
BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER MATCHES
Matches are a fantastic experience, both for the children themselves and for their parents (and other relatives!). Your children will undoubtedly want to share what happened and discuss events in the match with you. It is a fantastic opportunity for a shared family experience and learning for your child. Please therefore make every effort to attend the match yourself and to stay around to support your child and the other adults running the match.
We are one club and while we appreciate that everyone has busy lives, we would like all parents and guardians to play a full part in club life and get involved in supporting the club through volunteering and supporting social events.
BEFORE THE MATCH
- Please be clear about availability and respond to availability invitations from your AGM quickly
- Please make every effort to meet on time
- Please help the AGM set up the match
- Please ensure your child is there in time to warm up with their team-mates
DURING THE MATCH
- Encourage your child to watch the game they are playing so they support the team and understand the situation they will be batting/bowling in
- Do volunteer to score (we can support you in learning how to do it), be an umpire (again we can help you), or lend the AGM a hand – this may simply mean encouraging the kids to watch.
AFTER THE MATCH
- Please help clear the equipment away
- Please do stay, socialise, have a drink, let the children play some more in an unstructured and free-way. It’s a great way for players and parents to develop new friendships
- Please stay until the end of the game. Even if your child has finished their direct involvement in the game, please stay and support your team
THE VALUE OF TRAINING
Cricket can be a technically difficult game. It is important to develop skills to ensure that the players are improving and able to perform the way they want to when they are 13-15 years old and to then install good habits in learning and technical efficiency to help players express themselves and to be able to excel in adult/older age teams too.
Also due to the nature of cricket, batters may only face 10-15 balls in a game, and only bowl 12 balls in a 2-3 hour game. Compared to a 2 hour training session where in a batting drill they may play in excess of 70 balls (in a net they only get to face approx. 25-30 balls every 10 mins) and they would get to bowl 30 to 40 deliveries with a focus and learning objective.
Although children understandably want to play games, please encourage them to train and develop their skills.