Good Practice: The Best Training Aids On The Market

Good Practice: The Best Training Aids On The Market

England Development Programme coach Iain Brunnschweiler on the bits of kit he never leaves home without.

Most of my equipment is quite conventional and old school. The trick is finding new and inventive ways to use it that best reflects the requirements of the modern game.

SIDEARM

A must-have. It’s taken a bit of practice, but I now have a variety of deliveries available to me! Inswingers, outswingers, slower-ball bouncers, the lot. One trick to increase the pace behind the ball is to tape up the head. It’s designed with two flower petals on the head, so adding tape to it makes it heavier and when you take it back to throw, there’s less give, which in turn increases the pace behind the ball when you let go.

MINI BAT

Mini bat

It’s my coaching bat, sawn-off halfway down to make a small blade. I use it for giving flat catches, reaction catches, boundary awareness drills, long catching. I love it. It’s 13 seasons old and still going strong!

FUSION FLEXI STUMPS

I’ve got five or six Flexi Stumps in the bag, mainly for use in fielding drills. I also have some cones which I keep in my bag. Sometimes I’ll lay the stumps and the cones around a good length, and throw balls to a keeper standing up to the stumps. Some balls will miss the obstacles and bounce normally, but others will catch them and go off in random directions. It’s designed to simulate rough for the keeper, standing up to a spinner on a turning pitch.

OLD SHOES

Old shoes

Oddly, I always keep a pair of old shoes in my bag, for yorker practice. I stick them down where the batsman’s feet would be – it’s like he’s spontaneously combusted and all that remains of him are his shoes! And we get our bowlers to try and hit them right on the toe.

BASEBALL MITT

Vital piece of kit. It means you can get balls hurled at you and still gather them without getting your hands smashed up!

AND ONE FROM AOC…

CRAZY CATCH

Crazy Catch

The only two-sided handheld net out there, it’s a catching net with enough flexibility for the coach to alter the angle and speed of the rebound, and it’s light, stylish and portable, so it’s easy to carry around with you. Not that we’d suggest you take it out for a drink. It is a catching aid, after all.

You can pick up all of these bits of kit – aside from Brunnchy’s old shoes – at Barringtonsports.com

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