Former Test players Doug Walters and Geoff Dymock.
Former Test players Doug Walters and Geoff Dymock.

Old school teaching methods

CRICKET might have changed dramatically in the past 30 years, but for two ex-Aussie players, the game still needs to be taught the way it always has been.

Iconic Australian batsman Doug Walters and Test bowler Geoff Dymock were in town yesterday, teaching young cricketers about the finer aspects of cricket with the COGS program at Yaralla Sports Club.

Walters, who made his name as a dynamic middle-order runscorer from the 1960s until the early 1980s, believes kids haven’t changed in the 30 years he’d been taking coaching clinics, and neither have the game’s basics.

And being a country boy himself, Walters knows full well how kids in regional places can be a little more humble.

“They don’t tend to get the same chances as the city kids, and are prepared to listen and learn,” Walters said.

“It’s good to show them a couple of the finer points and there’s a lot of talent around, particularly in country areas.”

Walters said the game had changed from a monetary point of view, but the ball was still the same size and bowlers release from the same distance.

Jason Cross attended the clinic, and he wanted to concentrate on one area of his batting at the coaching clinic.

“I want to improve my driving,” Cross said.

For Walters, the imperative for any batsman is concentration.

“The one thing they have to do is watch the ball, and that goes for anybody, they think they do, but they don’t, they just have a guess,” he said.

For Dymock, teaching kids cricket is just part of him giving back due to his own experiences when he was hoping to make the grade.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for a first-grade cricketer from Brisbane who came to my school in Maryborough and taught me how to bowl in an afternoon,” the former Aussie and state bowler said.

“I had a dream of playing for Queensland and didn’t know how I was going to do it, and that’s how it happened.”

When it comes to teaching young bowlers the craft, there’s one standout point they need to learn.

“The most important thing about bowling is not to hurt themselves,” Dymock said.

“You’ve got Australian bowlers at the moment getting injured and no one’s changing them.”

Dymock said it was disappointing bowling hadn’t improved as a result of the Twenty20 format being introduced, in the same way the craft evolved after limited-overs cricket became prevalent.

In reaction to England great Ian Botham declaring the Poms will push aside Australia in the Ashes series this summer, Walters was quick to question his judgement.

“I thought he had a better cricket brain than that,” the champion batsman said.

“I hope they (England) win the first one in Brisbane to make it a bit interesting because I don’t think they’ve got any chance of beating us. Unless they play the whole 32 they’re bringing out then they might have some hope.”

Local organisation QER received a signed cricket bat by Aussie cricketing legends for helping to sponsor the clinic.

The one thing they have to do is watch the ball, and that goes for anybody.

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