Sunday, 2 October 2011

Practice Makes Imperfect

There may only be fewer than 80 or so days left until Christmas, but that means that there are only 130 until the start of winter nets and practice for the new season.  Fantasy Bob's pulse is quickening already at the mere thought.

Work underway to make Carlton's
 practice area fit for FB's needs 
 Like all elite athletes, Fantasy Bob's approach to practice is meticulous.  He never practices without a purpose, normally to get it over with as soon as possible.  He will seek to consolidate skills and work on areas of weakness.  Over the years he has managed to hone these weaknesses from minor blemishes into tragic faults. His imperfections are perfect. This makes him an essential teaching aid for any coach in the vicinity hoping to hone enthusiastic junior players into quality cricketers.  'Just watch that old goat and you'll see what not to do,' is the motivational phrase that rings in FB's ears throughout the season.  It steels his resolve.

But it is not only at cricket that FB recognises the importance of regular and structured practice.  This week FB is faced with that major threat to his dignity which is the corporate golf outing.  Having played golf this year only twice, he thought a little practice would be appropriate.  Things were going not too badly at the practice range with the balls going more or less in the direction that they were intended to - not exactly, for that would be too much to ask for, but more or less is pretty satisfactory, more or less.

If you see a head like the one above,
FB cannot be far away
 Of course with a golf club in hand that small feeling of a job well done and of being in the groove should be distrusted.  FB is old enough - but not wise enough - to recognise its deceiving flattery.  He should know to resist it.  To put it behind him.  For it can only lead to ignominy - just as the invasion of Poland lead inexorably to the foundation of the National Health Service.  It may not have been Hitler's intended consequence but the causal chain is inexorable.  So FB's mild feeling of satisfaction at having hit a few balls in a reasonably straight line was a balloon waiting to be popped and so it happened as the head of his 5 iron detached itself from the shaft and went sailing down the range - further it must be acknowledged than the ball that it had struck.  A first for FB - he has had the whole club detach itself from him before but never just the head.  The astonished gazes of fellow sufferers on the range had to be met with a nonchalant stance which suggested that the head was behaving just as FB has meant it to.  And before you cast aspersions on FB's inferior equipment, the damaged club is a mere 2 year old of TaylorMade's latest range.  There is nothing more pointless than a headless shaft.  FB hopes that a repair can be effected before the outing on Friday.

However, to return to batting practice - it is a pain having to get someone to bowl at you and some net bowlers have as much chance of pitching it on a line and length as they have of going to the moon.  Less in fact. Look at this link which shows how to take that difficulty out of the equation.

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