What better way to learn to play cricket than in the backyard?
Before the advent of formal coaching programmes, youngsters learned the game by imitating family, friends and players in the backyard, the local park, the school playground and on the beach.
Such unstructured, informal matches filled many hours with strategising, decision-making, debate and plenty of fun.
Games were spontaneous with pick-up teams, evolving local rules, improvised equipment and any reasonably flat surface.
Cricket’s technical and mental skills can be learned at organised practice sessions, but they need to be continuously reinforced by informal play.
New Zealand Cricket’s new resource - Backyard Cricket Fun - includes 19 activities which emphasise games for one or two players, in limited spaces, with improvised gear.
Backyard Cricket Fun is filled with activities, and liberally illustrated with diagrams and coloured photographs to help refine skills and enhance the enjoyment.
Backyard Cricket Fun aims to stimulate youngsters’ imaginations about cricket, encourage them to get outdoors, expend energy, have fun and develop a love of the game.
It is an excellent reference for teachers and parents, and has been designed for all aspiring young cricketers to hone their fundamental cricket skills in their own time in the backyard or in the playground.
Repetition of such skills builds the confidence and competence necessary for player development.
These skills are essential to their ability to compete in, and enjoy the game, as well as to improve their physical literacy and through that a lifelong commitment to sport, cricket in particular, and its many positive benefits.
Backyard Cricket Fun is available from Community Cricket Coordinators at all local cricket associations, or by contacting New Zealand Cricket National Development Manager Alec Astle at .