The parents at the Youth Cricket Academy (YCA) have shown a great deal of interest in getting their younger children involved in the basics of cricket before they get to primary school. As a result, the coaches at the YCA have designed a fun filled way of getting all children ready for cricket before they reach Grade 1.
The following reasons were given by coaches and parents, for getting children involved before primary school:
• The oldest child in the family seldom has the benefit of playing ball games with siblings, before primary school, and as a result he is behind in his development when he reaches Grade 1. Hand-eye-ball coordination is noticeably better amongst children who play ball games with their older brothers. Children, who are not exposed to ball sports at a young age, often find it difficult to catch up with other children who have done so.
• Cricket practices at school can be a very daunting prospect for a Grade 1 pupil, as practices are usually done amongst a large group of classmates. A term at the YCA will ensure that they have the basics before Grade 1.
• Parents have also said that they would like their younger son to be taught the basics of cricket so that he and his older brother will be able to play cricket together.
A term at the YCA will teach young children teamwork, participation, basic drills and the need to support each other on the field.
The YCA will focus on 3 main areas of coordination: the ball entering the hand (fielding and catching), balls exiting the hand (throwing and bowling) and hitting balls (batting). These are very different facets of coordination and that is why some children can catch, but not throw well, or others can bowl but struggle to bat. The children that attend the Academy will be divided into groups of 5 or less and will have the same coach for each lesson. This way they will become comfortable with the coach and their new friends. The size of the group is designed to give the coach enough cricketers with whom to work and do the necessary drills, but also, and very importantly, will keep the groups small enough to ensure that each cricketer will be worked with and skills improved on. The lessons will run for 45 minutes. Each lesson will involve a fun learning environment, where they will be taught the most basic, yet essential techniques of cricket. As the cricketers advance, so the drills will become slightly more complex, keeping enjoyment and preparation for Grade 1 in mind. The cricketers must wear white shorts, and will be given an YCA shirt.
The fees will be as follows for lessons booked on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays:
• R1040.00 paid in advance or R350.00 paid monthly. (12 x R80.00 + 1 YCA shirt)
The fees will be as follows for lessons booked on Mondays and Tuesdays:
• R960.00 paid in advance or R325.00 paid monthly. (11 x R80.00 + 1 YCA shirt)
If a cricketer joins the YCA, they will be there for the term, which will consist of eleven or twelve lessons. Kit will be supplied to the cricketers for use during every lesson. If due to inclement weather a practice is not possible outside, then a theory lesson will take place inside.
Monday to Friday:
12:30 - 13:15, 12:45 - 13:30 or 13:30 - 14:15
The YCA coaches the older groups from 14:40 everyday, so it is difficult to integrate pre-school children into later times. It will be possible, however to have a group of pre-school children at a later time, provided that at least four children attend at the time specified by the parents. This will have to be coordinated between the parents and the YCA. The YCA is flexible in this regard, provided that there are sufficient children to create a group.
The Youth Cricket Academy’s aim is to improve all the cricketers that attend, teaching them the skills, harnessing their talents, and building their self-confidence so they will not only start enjoying cricket, but start excelling at it! After all, the best cricketers are not born great; they are coached to become great!