May 19, 2016
USA Cricket Combines for Under 17s, currently happening across major cities in United States, is undoubtedly the best thing for Youth Talent in United States in recent times.
I had the distinct opportunity to be part of the USA Combine in Chicago (May 12-15) as a Coach. These 4 days I had opportunity to witness the commitment of ICC Americas Team to take the USA Cricket to Next Level.
The ICC Americas Coaching Panel was led by Tom Evans and Wade Edwards, and supported by Mike Young (Internationally Renowned Fielding Coach), Graeme West (West Indies U19 World Cup Winning Coach), Cathryn Fitzpatrick (Former Australian Women’s Coach and Champion Female Player), Unni Krishnan (Performance Analyst) & Brett Brungardt (BAM fitness testing). The Combines gave the U17 boys an opportunity to listen and learn from some of the best and most qualified people in the cricket industry.
All the scores from fitness testing and skill testing are recorded and stored in a database. The local coaches also provided individual evaluations and ratings for each player at the end of the combine.
The U17 player also has to undergo a 2K Run as part of fitness test, which turned out to be quite challenging for a few young players.
The players got to play game format on Day 3 and 4, and their performance was evaluated.
The best part of the event was that the entire coaching panel was available for the boys, at all times, to help them with constructive feedback and answer all their questions. Even after the sessions was over many boys would come and ask questions to Fitzpatrick or Graeme, and they would go into great depth to answer their questions.
Mike Young gave a couple of motivational and yet quite educating sessions to the boys about fielding and sportsmanship.
Tom Evans explained to the boys the objective of the combines. At the end of the combines, they would probably select the top 30 U17 players from around the country. These players will possibly form the base group of talent that would be trained and prepared for the next U19 world cup.
I must mention at this point that the weather conditions in Chicago was not good during the event. It was wet, super windy and cold. And the entire coaching panel still stayed out all day with players, watching them, talking to them and helping them. It shows their commitment and sincerity to take the USA Cricket Forward, and their drive to unearth the hidden talent across the country.
I am sure everyone who attended the combines took lots of positives from it. I know I did.
Ranjeet Singh (USYCA)