Coach Education

Batting - The drive



Head, shoulder and front foot move towards the line of the ball as the back-swing commences. The bat is swung back between the wicket-keeper and second slip.
 
The front foot stabilises and the body weight is transferred to it through a bent front knee creating a base for the shot (for maximum stability and proper shoulder alignment it is important that the front toe points between mid-off and extra cover for all front-foot drives).
 
As the top of the back-swing is reached, the shoulders begin to rotate vertically before initiating the down-swing (the majority of top batsmen have a slight loop at the top of the back-swing).

The figure 9 shape is retained as the bat accelerates vertically to the point of contact which is made underneath the eyes.
 
The bat accelerates through the point of contact and stays on line with the shot for as long as possible to a high finish position.

Body Alignment and Bat Swing Drills for the Drive

Purpose:

These drills are used to train the correct body movement, weight transfer and bat swing in the execution of the front-foot drive.

The drills are ideal for teaching beginners and for assisting any player who is having problems with the above.

1. Lob the ball to the batsman in the stance position. The batter moves forward to catch the ball next to the front knee. Vary the throw from off-side to on-side.



2. The batsman starts in a position at the top of the back-swing. His partner drops the ball from shoulder height on the off-side. The batsman drives the ball on the second bounce.



3. A batsman with a plastic stump or plastic bat takes up his normal stance. Using a complete step and back-swing, he simulates the drive by throwing the stump in the direction of the intended stroke.

(video)

Basic Hitting Drills for the Drive

Purpose:

These drills are used to train the correct body movement, weight transfer and bat swing in the execution of the front-foot drive.

The drills are ideal for teaching beginners and for assisting any player who is having problems with the above.

1. The batsman starts in his normal stance position. His partner drops the ball from shoulder height on the off-side. The batsman drives the ball on the second bounce.



2. A batter takes up his normal stance. His partner stands between 6 to 10 metres away and under-arms a low, bouncing ball towards the batter, who steps forward to play a front-foot drive.



3. A batsman takes up his normal stance position. His partner throws a half-volley from the full length of the pitch for him to play the front-foot drive.



Balance Drills for the Drive

Purpose:

Balance is one of the most important factors in batting. This sequence of drills assists in training proper balance when playing the drive.

The batsman plays a drive to either a dropped or rolling ball lifting his back foot off the ground just prior to making contact with the ball and maintaining perfect balance on his front foot throughout the execution of the shot. This drill can also be done individually by the batsman dropping the ball in front of him.







Bottom-Hand Hitting Drills for the Drive

Purpose:

The bottom hand supplies the power for the drive at the point of contact with the ball. It is vitally important that the hips and shoulders remain correctly aligned and the bottom hand hits through the line of the ball.

1. The batsman takes up his normal stance. His partner drops the ball for him to play a drive using the bottom hand only. It is important to keep the front side stable and the top arm extended throughout the shot. This drill can also be done individually by the batsman dropping the ball in front of him.



2. The batsman takes his normal stance and throws a ball underhand against a wall. He drives the ball on the rebound, using his bottom hand only and keeping his top arm extended.



3. A batter takes up his normal stance. His partner stands 10 metres away and under-arms a low, bouncing ball towards the batter who steps forward to play a front-foot drive, using his bottom hand only.