Swiss U15 training weekend

Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th November 2021

Report by Michael Hall

After a two year gap due to COVID, the 6 & 7 November weekend saw twenty-two of the Swiss U15 training squad converge on Basel for a training weekend. The players got time with Hampshire County coaches Chris Wheeler and John Cook, in addition to the Swiss U15 national coaches, Baljit Singh, Jason Walden and Nick Bentley.

The weekend had three themes:

1.    Elite basics - progressing the core skills of the players
2.    Fitness - longer format cricket means extra stress on player fitness
3.    Mind - pushing the players to think more about the shot to play, the ball to bowl, the field to set

The Saturday kicked off with introductions and the first fitness drill, before a focus on fielding. All through the day, the players had 30 minutes as pairs with John or Chris in the net to work on specific aspects of their batting. Afterwards they debriefed with Baljit and Jason and discussed where they see their cricket and where they would like to be. After lunch, the players split into two teams and played matches with specific rules to test the fielding work as well.

After a long day, the players came together for a delicious Indian meal at the Bayleaf Restaurant.

Sunday morning saw some notably tired bodies, but they were straight into action with drills to test their calling and running.The group’s three keepers then padded up and the group split into three, to work on their bowling. The weekend culminated with a triangular competition between the players to give them the opportunity to use the input they received in practice, which saw some fantastic competition and moments of brilliance.

Baljit commented that it was a “great group of players with a lot of ability. Their eagerness to learn, listen and continuously work on their game - soft and hard skills - will certainly help develop them as cricketers and people, but also push Swiss Cricket to new heights”. Jason added that “it was great to see 22 of the top U15 cricketers from clubs across Switzerland training and playing together to become teammates and friends. In these intense 2 days the players not only benefited from professional technical coaching but also were pushed to think more strategically about their cricket".

Many thanks to Basel Dragons for hosting, and to all the coaches and the players for their commitment to the whole weekend and hope they all have areas to work on over the winter with their clubs.