Justification of Fitness Components for Rounders

Physical fitness is the ability to cope effectively with the stresses of everyday life and still have energy left over for emergencies. Fitness can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, but health and fitness are not the same thing. The level of fitness you require depends on your lifestyle. A relatively sedentary life only requires brisk walks to maintain your fitness level. However, if you play sport regularly, you have to train many times a week to maintain a high fitness level.

Fitness consists of many components which fall into two categories: health-related fitness or motor/skill-related fitness. Health-related fitness is essential for everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Motor/skill-related fitness is more important to the sports performer.

My chosen sport (Rounders) utilises the following fitness components: anaerobic capacity (muscular endurance/endurance strength), elastic/explosive strength (power), flexibility, speed, reaction time, agility, and coordination.

I have been involved in rounders for five years during the summer. I was in the rounders club from 1997-2000. After that the GCSE group wasn’t invited to join, and I relied on GCSE practical lessons to play rounders. Now I play once a week on Wednesdays. Rounders is a game where there are two teams, with a maximum of nine players on each team, and a minimum of six. Each team bats in turn, while the other field, and each team has two innings in a full game. The aim of the bating team is to hit the ball in such a direction and to such a distance that the batter can run round four posts before the next ball is bowled to score a rounder.

The team scoring the most rounders wins. The batter can stay at any post on the way round. The bowler and the fielders work together to get the batter out as fast as possible to prevent them form scoring. My preferred positions are 4th base, bowling or backstop. This is because I am good at catching.

However, I cannot bat with distance, so I am better at preventing other from scoring rounders, rather than scoring rounders myself. To overcome my weakness, I usually bat where there are no fielders (1st base), using a backhand hit. The main tactics of the fielding team is to get the ball from the bowler to the backstop without letting the batter hit it. This makes it easier to throw it to 1st base and get them out quicker. If that is not possible, then the backstop, or whoever has the ball, usually throws it to 4th base as the batter usually has run quite far by this time.

Bowling is an essential skill for rounders, as it is mainly up to the bowler to prevent rounders and make the batter miss the ball. Bowling is my strength, and I can usually bowl the ball with speed and accuracy between the batters knee and head, to the backstop’s hands. I have hardly ever given away a half rounder, because I have extremely good aim.

However, batters normally can make contact with the ball, as I do not have good enough aim to aim for their elbows with speed. It is impossible to hit the ball when it is near your elbow. The batter normally takes a step back and manages to hit it. Bowling is the first attack of the fielding team. Whether or not the batter will score a rounder depends upon the ball bowled to them. That’s why there are many strategies for bowling, such as taking a diagonal run up, spinning the ball, and bowling it at various speeds and heights.

This is how you perform the bowling action:

There are three components to a warm up, which should be performed prior to every piece of exercise we do. They should always be performed in this order:

A warm up should be performed because it gets the body ready for exercise and reduces the risk of injury. Adrenaline is released during a warm up which increases the heart rate and dilates capillaries. This in turn increases the speed and amount of oxygen delivered to the muscles. Body temperature is increased during a warm up and this increases the speed of the nerve impulse as it is conducted quicker, and the contraction speed is faster, therefore you have faster reaction times. The enzyme activity is also increased which is needed for respiration, meaning a greater source of energy is available to us as muscle metabolism is increased.

Oxygen dissociates from haemoglobin much quicker in a warmer muscle and blood flow is increased as the vessels dilate. It decreases the viscosity within the muscle, which increases the elasticity and extensibility of the muscle fibres which makes them more malleable. This increased flexibility means the speed and force of muscle contraction is greater. Warming up also increases the production of Synovial fluid in the joints. This lubrication means the joints are looser so there is increased movement and you are more flexible. A warm up also mentally prepares us for the activity ahead, and this is extremely good as mental preparation is very effective and enhances performance. The main effect of a warm up is increased body temperature which makes you perform better and increases the contractibility of your muscles.

A cool down is performed at the end of every activity. It is the reverse of a warm up and consists of a pulse raiser and stretches. You have to perform an aerobic exercise during a cool down because you don’t want the build up of lactic acid. The stretches performed are the same ones performed during the warm up. A cool down returns the body to its pre-exercising state, as this happens more quickly if you perform light exercise during the recovery period. Waste products, such as lactic acid and carbon dioxide, are flushed out due to the increased blood flow. This reduces your overall recovery time, as fuel and energy stores are replenished.

Venous pooling is prevented as 85% of the blood volume is sent to the working muscles. The most effective way to return the blood back to the heart is by a skeletal pump mechanism. The sudden decrease of activity also decreases blood flow to the heart and the stroke volume. Blood pressure also drops and the athlete feels light headed and dizzy. A cool down returns the muscle temperature back to normal at the right rate. A sudden drop in temperature causes muscle damage. Flexibility exercises can be performed during a cool down as the muscles are still warm and at their most pliable. You can physically and mentally relax during a cool down and recovery is aided. Muscle soreness (DOMS) and injury is also prevented by performing a cool down.

Below is my warm up programme for rounders. The only equipment I will require to perform it will be a 400m track, a rounders ball and a bat.

400m track

perform static stretching on the following muscles and mobilise the following joints. Hold the stretches for 15 seconds each. Static stretching is a very safe and basic form of stretching. There is a limited threat of injury and it is extremely beneficial for overall flexibility. You should stretch the major muscle groups before the smaller ones. Then you should move onto mobilising joints. Static stretching is performed by placing the body into a position whereby the muscle or group of muscles to be stretched is under tension. Both the opposing muscle group (the muscles behind or in front of the stretched muscle), and the muscles to be stretched are relaxed. Then slowly and cautiously the body is moved to increase the tension of the muscle, or group of muscles to be stretched. At this point the position is held or maintained to allow the muscles and tendons to lengthen.

All the members of the team have to stand in a circle quite wide apart. One person has the ball and throws it to the person on their right. The person who threw the ball then has to run around the circle. Meanwhile, the people in the circle are throwing the ball to the person on their right. The aim of the person running is to get back to their own position to catch the ball. The people in the circle have to throw the ball round the circle as fast as possible before the runner gets back in their position. This develops your catching and throwing techniques, and your ability to sprint quickly.

After this activity, take a bat and a ball. Get into pairs and decide who will be bowler, and who will be the batter. Just bowl and bat for a few minutes. Ideally, the batter should connect with the ball ten times in a row, and the bowler shouldn’t bowl any no balls.

I have also devised a cool down for rounders, which is shown below. It is the reverse of my warm up, but contains the same stretches and pulse raiser. However, there is no skill phase during a cool down.

Pulse raiser: jog gently around the 400m track.

400m track

Stretches: perform the same stretches as the warm up, after the jog.

A warm up and a cool down have a good effect on the speed and force of muscular contraction. The warming up of the muscle causes the conduction of the nerve impulse to increase. This happens because the myelin sheath (a fatty substance that insulates the nerve) gets thicker. This means the nerve impulse is transmitted from node of Ranvier to node of Ranvier much quicker. The nerve impulse travels down the axon much faster after performing a warm up and cool down, and this means the muscle can contract faster, as it receives the nerve impulse to release Calcium ions into the sarcoplasmic reticulum much quicker. After performing a warm up and cool down, more than one nerve impulse is received by the muscles and the force of the contraction increases too.

The heart rate needs to increase during exercise to increase the oxygen supply to the limbs and speed up the removal of waste products e.g. carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Even before you exercise your heart rate starts to increase (anticipatory rise) due to the release of adrenaline. This acts directly on the heart to stimulate the SA node and speed up the heart rate and it affects the medulla.

When exercise begins, the heart rate increases due to a nerve reflex response which is initiated by the muscle receptors that stimulate the cardiac control centre (CCC). Chemoreceptors in the muscles respond to the increase in lactic acid and other chemical changes by sending messages to the CCC to increase the heart rate. Venous return is also increased during exercise as the heart muscle starts to become warmer, increasing the heart rate.

When you stop exercising, the muscle receptors stop stimulating the CCC and the heart rate falls rapidly. The activity of the chemoreceptors is also reduced, and combined with the decrease in adrenaline, venous return and body temperature, the heart rate is returned to normal within a matter of minutes.

Warming up and cooling down also has many effects on the vascular system. It causes vasodilatation of the arterioles supplying the skeletal muscles so that the lumen is increased and more blood flow occurs. Vasoconstriction occurs to the arterioles supplying the kidney, liver and other organs. This means the lumen decreases and blood flow to these organs is decreased so that more blood is available for the skeletal muscles. Therefore, more oxygen can be used during aerobic/anaerobic respiration by the skeletal muscles.

The blood vessels near the surface of the skin begin to dilate during a warm up and cool down, to expel extra heat quicker, and maintain body temperature. Blood volume increases, which is beneficial as it increases your capacity to carry oxygen. After performing a warm up and cool down, due to the increased number of muscle contractions occurring, nitric oxide is produced. This makes the arterioles vasodilate, and increase blood flow, so that more oxygen can be transported and used for respiration. Warming up and cooling down affects the elasticity of the vessels, enabling them to stretch more so that more blood can flow through. It also prevents fatty deposits from sticking to the insides of the vessels, therefore preventing atherosclerosis (beginning of heart disease).

The bowling action is based entirely on underarm throwing. A no-ball will be called if:

Here are five practices to practice the bowling action, ranging from basic to advanced.

1. The simplest method for a beginner to practice is an underarm throw aimed at the backstop’s hands. Place two cones 10m apart (that is approximately the distance between backstop and bowler). One person (backstop) stands on one cone and the other (bowler) stand on the opposite cone. The bowler should then simply do an underarm throw to the backstop’s hands. This is a drill, so this method of learning is fixed practice. It is suitable for skills that are performed in the same way (closed skills). The bowler should keep throwing the ball underarm to the backstop’s hands until the kinaesthetic awareness is acute and the movement becomes fluent, consistent and aesthetically pleasing. 50 underarm throws should be sufficient practice.

2. The next step is to practice the run up in the bowling square and deliver the ball to the backstop’s hands through a hoop. This helps the beginner visualise the imaginary rectangle where the ball should be aimed. The aim is to get the ball through the hoop ten times in a row using the underarm bowling action. The performer should feel the difference in the speed and power of the bowl due to the run up.

The bowler should use the real bowling square on a rounders pitch, the person holding the hoop should be standing in the batter’s box, and the backstop should be a metre behind the hoop. The length of the bowling square allows for a run-up before the ball is released. The bowler can step out of the square once the ball has been released. This allows the bowler to increase momentum and therefore the speed at which the ball can be delivered. The co actor has to hold a hoop out in front of them for the bowler to aim into, and the backstop has to catch the ball. After ten successful bowls through the hoop, move onto the next practice.

3. Change the angle of the run across the square and the ball will arrive at the batter from a different direction. Lower the position of the hand on delivery and the ball will rise up on delivery to the backstop.

Keep on using the hoop at this point to make it easier to practice. The aim is to alternate on bowling direction each time you bowl and getting it through the hoop incorporating all the skills learned so far: the run up which increases speed of delivery, and bowling direction. Use the rounders pitch so that it feels like a game situation, and the distances are exactly right, as they will be in an actual match. Do ten successful bowls in a row from the left hand corner of the bowling square, and ten successful bowls from the right hand corner of the bowling square. Your run up must be slightly diagonal to change the flight of the ball and it must go through the hoop into the backstop’s hands.

4. With the addition of swing, the bowler can control the batter. However, it will also make it harder for the backstop to catch it. Change the grip, and by turning the fingers as the ball is released the ball will spin. Deliver ten balls to the backstop with the run-up and spin, and the difficulty in catching it will be seen.

Aim the ball through the hoop incorporating all skills practiced beforehand, so that there is a run up to increase the speed of delivery, bowling direction is varied, and spin. Start off with ten successful bowls (using spin) in a row to the backstop through the hoop, where the run up is straight down the middle of the bowling square. Then do another ten successful bowls through the hoop (again using spin) in a row from the left hand corner of the bowling square. Then do the same from the right hand corner of the bowling square. The bowler should now have mastered the art of spin, varying direction of delivery, and increasing the speed of the delivery.

5. Finally, introduce the batter and remove the hoop. This will make the bowling more realistic and the performer can get a feel for the way to bowl against a real batter, with a backstop behind them. Use all the skills learned before, and the aim is to get the ball to the backstop’s hands without letting the batter hit it, but it has to be bowled within the imaginary boundary line between his head and knee and batting reach. New, more advanced skills can be incorporated such as the donkey drop, or by lowering the position of the hand on delivery and the ball will rise up at the batter.

Firstly, start off with ten successful bowls to the batter, which are within the imaginary boundary of the head, knee and batting reach:

The batter should find it difficult to hit the ball, as you will use spin and alternate the direction of your run up so that you are unpredictable. Variety is essential, and if the batter does make contact with the ball, it should only travel a limited distance. After this has been achieved, the bowler can try to perform the donkey drop. This is a high ball which reaches the batter at the correct height (see diagram above). Perform ten successful donkey drops in a row, then try and bend your knees at the end of your run up so that the ball rises up at the batter (see fig. 23). Perform this type of run up ten times successfully in a row.

My name is Aisha Hussain, and I am 16 years old. My chosen activity is rounders, and the governing/organising body of this sport is the National Rounders Association. The National Rounders Association (NRA) was formed in 1943, but the game remained mainly for school children until 1968 when the Sheffield Works Association affiliated to the NRA. Other adult associations did the same and soon National Tournaments were underway. The game is now played by teams in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The NRA has since introduced the game to the international arena by demonstrating play to the Americans, Italians and Canadians. There are now over thirty leagues around the country.

Rounders is immensely popular in schools and is spreading rapidly to an adult level. This is due to the fact that rounders allows individuals to develop individual skills as well as incorporating team spirit. It is a non-contact sport so it is suitable for mixed and mixed-age teams. When playing this sport, the player develops their batting, bowling and fielding skills. The teams usually consist of families and friends. Only three teams are needed to form a league, and at first teams play friendly matches against other groups.

The NRA is responsible for and has the copyright of the national rules of the game. It encourages prospective umpires and coaches to take tests in order to maintain the standard of the game. It is supported by The Sports Council and by the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, and in turn it supports everyone interested in rounders, including beginners, as well as international players.

Rounders is played by two teams against each other, each consisting of a maximum of nine players. However, the game can proceed with only six players on each side. If the team is mixed, there can only be a maximum of five male players. Each team is permitted six named substitutes. One team bats, while the other fields, then it swaps over. A full game allows each team to have two innings.

The batting team has the aim of hitting the ball in such a direction and to such a distance that he/she can run round four posts before the ball is bowled again. This means he/she has scored a rounder. A half rounder is awarded if the batter manages to run round two posts, or if they fail to hit the ball but still manage to run round four posts. It is also awarded if two consecutive no-balls are bowled to one batter and as a penalty for obstruction to a batter by the fielder. The team that scores the most rounders wins.

The batter can stay at any post on the way round, reaching the fourth post several balls later. They then have another hit on their turn. The bowler and fielders work together to get the batters out as quickly as possible, by stumping their post with the ball before the batter reaches it, or catching them out. This prevents them from scoring rounders. Most teams have one fielder on each post, and the rest are arranged, depending on the batter’s ability and whether they are right or left-handed.

Rounders did not have a regional structure on their website, so I emailed the National Rounders Association to ask for it, but they do not currently have one. Here is the email below:

We are currently working on a regional structure and part of it will be trialled this year. Keep watching the web site as the Strategic plan will be published there. Could you print the School registration form and ask your teacher to register your school as a member.

Question: What is the regional Structure for rounders?

However, they try to follow the Sport England Regions and from this year the NRA will hold Regional Rounders Competitions leading to the National Tournaments for 12yrs and under and 16yrs and under. Here is the regional structure for the southeast:

Coaches and umpires are provided with courses by the NRA to increase the quality of coaching and therefore improving the quality of play. These coaching awards motivate the coaches to do well and take their sport seriously. There are three levels of expertise:

1. Preliminary (level 1)

2. Intermediate (level 2)

3. National (level 3), which are National Governing Body Awards.

Courses are also offered to teachers in umpiring and coaching by Sportscoach UK so that the quality of play in schools is improved too. However, these are only offered at preliminary and intermediate levels. The extrinsic rewards offered to teachers for this course are certificates.

There is a Basic Skills Award Scheme for schools, which the schools officer is responsible form and for older pupils, there is the GCSE lesson Plans and Award Scheme. This gives pupils the opportunity to qualify as a preliminary umpire. Any school that enters a team in a tournament has to be a member of the NRA, and tournaments are programmed for pupils at primary and secondary whether in the state or public sector.

The NRA promotes the game of rounders a series of one day tournaments in which the England Teams play exhibition matches against each other. They have been involved and continue to be with local and regional initiatives involving the community. The NRA organises many tournaments for ages Y6 to Y11 for both boys and girls and mixed teams. Last season it held a Rounders Festival, supported by Sheffield City Council at Woodbourn Road Stadium. This festival introduced children from 3 to 16yrs to the game and they were supported by International Players and NRA Coaches.

This year the NRA has planned to organise regional tournaments across the whole country at Y6 mixed and Y11 Girls. These will give the NRA the finalists for the National Competition which will be held in the Midlands on July 5th. They also will be linking school teams with local adult teams, and will offer support as an after school activity and a route for the development of the player into the leagues.

One promotional/grass root scheme is the basic skill award scheme which is aimed at schools. The Awards scheme can be used at all key stages, is consistent with the requirements of the National Curriculum and enables pupils to develop individual skills. The Basic Skills Award Scheme is ideal for Primary and lower secondary pupils. It is currently being used in over 3000 schools.

This year, on July 5th the NRA will be organising a National Tournament for Year 6 and Year 11. They will have to enter it via local school tournaments which are expected to be organised at a local level, then regional competitions. The NRA helps with the organisation strategy if it is needed and provides proformas for organisation of events. This helps talented children get spotted, as it gets harder and harder as you progress from a local level, to a regional level, then finally to a national level. As Rounders is becoming more popular worldwide, the National Rounders Association are organising a World Series tournament in the summer of 2004.

Doping control and testing is a policy of the NRA. It takes responsibility to observe the Sports Council’s policy against drug abuse. They have not had to do any doping tests yet but they do have to produce a policy to cover the eventuality. As soon as this has been written it will be posted on the site under policies. All players are told that they have to agree to dope testing as a condition of their being selected for an England Team should it be required. The NRA follows the UK Sport policy guidelines. However, the policy cannot be accessed as the website is still under construction.

On the performance pyramid for rounders, I am at the participation stage as I play on a regular basis and participate in recreational activity involving rounders frequently. I have progressed from foundation level because the time spent on participating in rounders is more structured and regular. It is not just spontaneous, but set times are set aside for rounders as well. It is definitely not my first introduction to rounders, as I have been playing for five years regularly.

I am not yet at the performance stage on the performance pyramid for rounders because I do not represent the county, or play for a league. There is no commitment to competitive involvement at this present moment in time. If I was at the performance stage, the standard and quality of play would improve greatly, as there are better coaches, facilities, and more competition and pressure to win. It is quite difficult for me to join a league, as there isn’t one for southeast England as of yet and the closest leagues are unregistered, or still developing. I cannot join a team, because there is not one set up in my local area, and the one at my school is not for my age group.

I am obviously not at the excellence stage on the performance pyramid, as you cannot skip stages in the pyramid. I have to progressively work my way up, and get scouted if I want to reach international level and elite standards. To represent my country, I have to reach the performance level first, and take part in regional and national tournaments. There is extreme difficulty for me to reach elite standards due to regional opportunities being poor.

The national rounders association made me progress from foundation level to participation level, by making rounders interesting and appealing for me. The game was made safe, due to rules and policies issued by the NRA. Damaged equipment isn’t allowed to be used, so I could always perform well due to approved equipment under normal conditions and weather situations. Children are made to feel safe due the policy of the NRA “to safeguard the welfare of children and all others involved in Rounders by protecting them from physical, sexual, and emotional harm.” This means that I can feel relaxed and perform well with no sense of threat at all. The game can be adapted for younger players by using flat bats and a tee-ball to make it easier for them to learn how to bat.

One of the aims of the NRA is to encourage the development of the game of Rounders in every way, and it does this by ensuring that all people, irrespective of race, gender, ability, ethnic origin, social status or sexual orientation, have equal opportunities to take part in rounders at all levels and roles. Without discrimination, it is easier to take part in rounders, and even your ability doesn’t matter. The NRA has set up an Equity Action Plan, which aimed to ensure everyone had equal opportunities to take part in and enjoy rounders. Discriminatory behaviour is not tolerated and all members of the NRA are responsible for making sure individuals are made welcome if they want to participate in Rounders.

Due to the unprejudiced atmosphere and equal opportunities to participate in rounders, I progressed from foundation level, to participation level on the performance pyramid. I was accepted onto the school rounders team, and participated in local tournaments and leagues. This helped develop my skill and enabled me to enjoy rounders. The teaching quality also enhanced my skill, as the NRA offer teachers umpiring courses to ensure there is fair play, and in coaching to develop talented youngsters.

Play is the broadest concept as it allows for mass participation as the physical activity is available for everyone, regardless of skill level or commitment. Play is inclusive, unlike sport which is exclusive. Only the most highly skilled and committed people can achieve sporting excellence. Not everyone has got what it takes to get to the top in sport. Your ability may prevent you from reaching the top level in sport, as you may not be good enough. You also may not have the time to dedicate to sport and therefore will not be able to achieve a high level of skill or commitment. Some people may not have the opportunity to perform at sporting level due to lack of facilities, financial support, and availability of transport or coaches.

At the lower level, sport is fun and we play to escape and relax. However, the higher you get the more competitive and serious the activity becomes. Sport has extrinsic rewards such as money and it becomes too serious, unlike play, which is non-serious, spontaneous and intrinsic. Physical recreation is also playing sport for the sake of playing sport with intrinsic rewards. Jogging, step aerobics, a knock up in tennis and visiting a water “splash” theme pool are all recreational activities. They all involve physical exercise and the participants gain something from doing them. However, they are not sport because there is no definite outcome, extrinsic reward or stringent organisation. The emphasis is on participation rather than performance standards.

My teacher for rounders is Mr Monteduro. However, it is Miss Clarke who has helped me develop in rounders, as she taught me for five years and taught me the basic skills of rounders when I was 11. This year, however, Mr Monteduro played the role of my coach.

Miss Clarke helped me develop my game of rounders by encouraging and praising me. This type of positive feedback enabled me to gain confidence in myself and perform to the best of my ability, as the correct motor programme was reinforced. My confidence was increased further as she asked me to play for the school’s rounders team, and this encouragement right from the beginning helped me tremendously.

Miss Clarke ensured that I knew how to perform all the basic skills of rounders and that I was following the correct technical model from the start. This ensured no bad habits formed, and I performed the skill properly right from my first introduction to the game.

I have played rounders since the age of 11 when I joined Slough Grammar School. My first experience playing rounders was in the summer of 1998. I was extremely good at catching so I was assigned at 4th base, and that has been my preferred position ever since. I also knew I had good aim from playing Netball, so I had a go at bowling, and that proved to be my strong point as well. I can play backstop, bowler, 4th base, 1st base and 2nd base (anything requiring good reaction time).

However, I proved to be hopeless at 2nd base, as I have difficulty catching balls coming in from long distances and great height. I am also a weak thrower, so I never field (even though I have a good barrier technique). I am also not very good at batting, but I am good at placing the ball where there are no fielders to score the occasional rounder.

As a bowler, my favourite technique is to bowl straight at the backstop’s hands extremely quickly. Sometimes if the backstop is unable to catch the ball, I switch to bowling towards the batter’s elbow to make it impossible for them to hit it. At 4th base, I prefer receiving balls straight from the batter and catching them out, or from the backstop and stumping someone out. I also enjoy receiving balls from 3rd base. I do not like receiving balls from fielders over long distances as I can never catch them.

I have been in the rounders club from year 7 (1998) to year 9 (2000). After that we weren’t invited to attend, and relied on GCSE PE lessons to play rounders. I chose to be assessed in rounders because it is my favourite sport alongside basketball and badminton, and it is my strongest sport.

Fitness: –

Strategies/Tactics: –

Skills/Techniques: –

Incorrect catching technique results in poor performance and is a frequent cause of injury to the fingers and hands. Stretch out the arms and pull them back towards the body when catching a ball. This will minimise the risk of injury to the small joints of the fingers, as the larger muscles of the arms can absorb the impact of the ball.

Reference: KNOW THE GAME, Rounders. Produced in collaboration with the National Rounders Association. ISBN: 0-7136-3977-6

My catching technique is best at the preparation phase. However, it starts to break down at the execution phase. My catching technique is diabolical during the recovery phase and this is what I will need to improve on. I will have to learn to bring the ball close into my chest to prevent it from falling out of my hands.

The ball must be thrown directly into the hands of the fielder because a bouncing ball is extremely difficult to catch as the ground is not flat. It saves time if it lands directly into the fielder’s hand, as they can then immediately touch their post. If it doesn’t reach them accurately, they may obstruct the batter in the process of catching the ball.

Reference: KNOW THE GAME, Rounders. Produced in collaboration with the National Rounders Association. ISBN: 0-7136-3977-6

My throwing technique is best during all phases. However, I don’t have enough strength to throw it very far, but I do throw it accurately to the receiving fielder. I follow through properly to ensure it travels the distance I imparted force with.

A batter can stand where they want in the box providing their feet do not cross the front or back line whilst batting. The positions of the fielders should be studied, to determine a good placement for the ball.

Reference: KNOW THE GAME, Rounders. Produced in collaboration with the National Rounders Association. ISBN: 0-7136-3977-6

My batting technique is best during the preparation and execution phase. It starts to break down slightly during the recovery phase, as I am too eager to run to the first post, and I halt the follow through almost immediately. I will have to learn to allow myself one more second to carry out the follow through before running.

The ball must be bowled between the knee and shoulder of the batter, and within the batting reach, using an underarm throwing technique. You should vary the speed at which the balls are received by the batter, so that you do not become predictable and you should also try and put spin on the ball and vary the angle of the run across the square.

Reference: KNOW THE GAME, Rounders. Produced in collaboration with the National Rounders Association. ISBN: 0-7136-3977-6

My bowling technique is good during all phases as it is one of my strengths. I think I need to develop my bowling further by adding spin to my balls to make it difficult for the batter to hit, and ensure they get caught out.





10 weeks

Drills: Put 8 cones out, 2 strides apart, and then run in and out of the cones for one minute. Count how many times you make it to the end and back.

I will run in and out of the cones more times in one minute by the end of the course.

10 weeks

I will have to hit the ball further out (using whole practice) to score a full rounder, or run faster. I will perform shuttle runs to improve my sprinting. When I’m not batting, I will stand at 4th base and practice my position whenever someone is batting.

By the end of the course I will make it at least to third base and progress from there.


10 weeks

I have to be alert and ready to catch as many balls as possible. I get 10 points for catching someone out, and 5 points for stumping someone out. Every lesson I have to total up my score to see if I’m improving. When I’m bowling, I have to aim to send the ball to the backstop’s hands.

I will be motivated to catch more balls, rather than wait for the ball to bounce and prevent a rounder.





10 weeks

To improve my speed and anaerobic capacity I will run round the rounders pitch twice, as fast as I can, and time myself. To improve my muscular strength in my arms (needed for batting), I will also do 1 minute of press-ups, and 1 minute of tricep dips.

I will take less time to run round the rounders pitch, and I will be able to do more press-ups and tricep dips in 1 minute. This should improve my batting.

10 weeks

I will find the technical model for a backhand hit and practice it, so that it becomes over learnt and the skill becomes autonomous. I will play 2nd base more often to improve my ability to catch more balls from great heights and distances.

I will be able to fool the opposition with ease by performing a backhand hit and be able to play on all the bases.

10 weeks

Put 5 cones out in a straight line, 10 steps apart. I have to hit as far as possible. Each cone is worth ten points. To improve my batting I need to develop my strength, so doing press-ups, or tricep dips will help. I will not have enough time, or the equipment to perform these in the training session, so I will have to do this in my spare time. I will throw the ball up to myself as high as I can and catch it. Then I will progress to someone else throwing it to me, and then finally progress to someone batting the ball to me. If I have any difficulty, I will use a tennis ball and then progress to a rounders ball.

By the end of the course I expect to be able to hit the ball out to the 5th cone and earn 50 points with ease. I will check if my improvement has any links with the amount of press-ups and tricep dips I can do. I will be able to catch the ball without dropping it, using the correct technique. My real problem is keeping my eye on the ball.

Date: Wednesday 2nd October, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School tennis courts

Weather conditions: Sunny

Equipment: 5 cones, a bat and a rounders ball

Assistants: At first, there were only four members in our rounders club: Kelly, Kim, Caroline, and myself (Aisha).

Mood: I was happy and excited to play rounders as I hadn’t played all summer and I missed the sport.

Objective for session: Improve catching, batting, fielding and bowling. We did two laps of the tennis courts and then stretched the following muscles: triceps, biceps, hamstring, quadriceps, gastrocnemius and soleus. We then made a square using cones, ten strides apart, and threw two balls one after the other to each other around the square. When we got considerably better at catching it, we moved out three strides further and threw the balls round again. We kept doing this until the distance was too far for us to throw.

Then we got into pairs and had one ball for each pair. We threw it up into the air as high as we could and our partner had to run and try to catch it using the correct technique. When we managed to catch the ball without dropping it ten times in a row, we switched to batting. We put five cones out in a straight line, ten steps apart. We all took turns batting, bowling and fielding. The aim was to hit the ball out as far as possible. You earned 10 points for each cone. I managed to get 30 points, and that was when I actually managed to hit the ball. We played this game for the remainder of the training session, and then jogged twice around the court for the cool down. We then stretched the same muscles as we did during the warm up.

Evaluation: My batting skills have deteriorated over the summer, and I need to improve. I knew this due to intrinsic feedback mostly, as I could “feel” that the timing of the hit was wrong (kinaesthesis). My catching is also not very good any longer, as I don’t keep my eye on the ball. However, my bowling technique is still very good, as is my barrier technique. My catching was better than my batting.

It was raining, so training was cancelled as it is a safety hazard to play on a slippery surface. But we managed to find many more members to join our rounders club, who will be attending next week. They are: Sarah, Shamila, Leah, Erum, Sannah, Salma, Shazia, and Jaz.

Date: Wednesday 16th October, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School field

Weather conditions: Sunny

Equipment: 4 posts with bases, a bat and a rounders ball.

Assistants: Sarah, Shamila, Leah, Erum, Sannah, Salma, Shazia, and Jaz.

Mood: The weather was good and we were all in a good mood and ready to play rounders as we hadn’t played for two weeks.

Objective for session: Play a game to determine strengths and weaknesses. We warmed up by jogging 400m. We then stretched our muscles and decided to play a game on the field. I tried to take as many turns as possible at batting, as I knew that was my weakness. I also bowled and played 4th base. As most of us were hitting the ball out quite far and scoring rounders, we made the game harder. We had to run round the pitch twice to score a rounder. If we didn’t make it round once, we were out. This encouraged us to sprint faster and improved our agility and anaerobic capacity. At the end of the session, we jogged round the 400m track again and stretched our muscles for the cool down. This prevents venous pooling and replenishes energy stores.

Evaluation: I managed to score many rounders this training session, but I could hardly catch. My strengths and weaknesses swapped over and I couldn’t work out why. I became very clumsy, and I kept dropping the ball, so I resorted to fielding. I was better at that and my barrier technique was very good. I hardly ever had to catch the ball fielding, except when Kim was batting.

Date: Wednesday 30th October, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School tennis courts

Weather conditions: Today was quite sunny and dry, but there were puddles from the previous day into which the ball kept landing in.

Equipment: tennis ball, rounders ball, bat

Assistants: Kelly and Erum (Kim changed her sport to Badminton and no longer attends training sessions).

Mood: I was ready to play rounders, but I only practiced catching and I got a bit bored towards the end as I had achieved my aim, and could catch the ball easily (drive reduction theory). However, I enjoyed the training session and I was satisfied that my catching skills had returned and I was following the correct technical model, which Kelly demonstrated to me.

Objective for session: Improve catching from long distances. We could not use the field to set up a pitch, as it was wet from the previous day’s rain. Instead we used the tennis courts which were full of puddles, with a dry patch in the middle. Kelly’s weakness was batting, and mine was catching, so she batted the whole session, while I caught her out.

I bowled to Kelly using the correct bowling technique, whilst Erum played backstop. At first, Kelly concentrated on actually hitting the ball rather than distance and direction, so I got plenty of practice, catching the ball. However, I was not very successful at the beginning, so we used a tennis ball instead. As I got progressively better, we switched back to the rounders ball. This was the best type of practice, as I was receiving balls from the bat, rather than from someone’s hands. As Kelly’s batting improved, she started hitting it further, so Erum bowled instead and I went further away to catch the balls from long distances.

Evaluation: My catching improved considerably due to the extrinsic feedback I received from Kelly and Erum, but also from the intrinsic feedback I received by catching the ball firmly in my hands. This type of variable practice is a very suitable method to learn how to catch.

Date: Wednesday 6th November, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School field

Weather conditions: It was hot and sunny today so we were able to use the field and play a game and target various skills.

Equipment: 4 posts with bases, a rounders ball, a bat, a stopwatch and 8 cones.

Assistants: Kelly, Erum, Leah, Shamila, Sarah, Shazia, Jaz, Sannah and Salma.

Mood: The nice summery day put everyone in a good mood, and we all had fun playing an enjoyable game of rounders.

Objective for session: Improve agility, speed, anaerobic capacity and catching. Kelly and I warmed up by jogging around the 400m track, and then stretched our triceps, biceps, hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius and soleus. As none of our assistants had turned up yet, Kelly and I decided to put 8 cones out, 2 metres apart, and we timed each other for 1 minute to run in and out of them and back. I managed to do it 3 times. We then set up the rounders pitch and sprinted around the posts twice to improve our anaerobic capacity.

Then our assistants turned up, and we all got into a circle and I threw the ball to Kelly who was on my right, and ran around the circle while they passed the ball to each other. The aim was to run around the circle before the ball was returned to my position. I didn’t manage to make it on time as I was tired from jogging, running in and out of cones and sprinting around the rounders pitch. We then decided to play a game of rounders and I played 4th base, my favourite position and improved my catching skills further by catching with one hand only, then progressing to left handed catches. Kelly and I then performed a cool down by jogging around the track and stretching the same muscles we stretched during our warm up.

Evaluation: My catching has really improved over these last five weeks, as I am now very sure with my hands and I am able to catch with either hand now. I was pleased with the amount of times I managed to run in and out of the cones and the speed at which I ran around the rounders pitch. I think combined with good batting; I will increase the numbers of rounders I score. I will now focus on my batting technique during training sessions.

Date: Wednesday 13th November, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School field

Weather conditions: There was a gentle breeze today and it was slightly chilly.

Equipment: 4 posts with bases, a rounders ball, a bat, a stopwatch and 8 cones.

Assistants: Kelly, Erum, Leah, Shamila, Sarah, Shazia, Jaz, Sannah and Salma.

Mood: Despite the chilly weather, we enjoyed our game of rounders, especially since we were successful at batting. I was slightly bored at the beginning as I don’t like sprinting; I prefer playing a game straight away.

Objective for session: Improve agility, speed, anaerobic capacity and batting. We began with the normal routine by warming up by jogging around the 400m track, and then stretching our triceps, biceps, hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius and soleus. Then we set up the cones and timed ourselves for a minute and ran in and out of them. My score of 3 still remained the same.

We sprinted around the rounders pitch once only this time since we were focusing on batting this session and needed to save our energy to score rounders. Kelly was the bowler, and I was the batter. Our assistants were the fielders and my aim was to score half rounders at first. After a while, I started hitting it harder and further as I got more practice and I managed to score a full rounder. After the session was over, Kelly and I cooled down with a 400m jog and performed our stretches.

Evaluation: I was pleased with today’s performance as I managed to score rounders, and hit the ball quite far. I got extrinsic feedback form my assistants in the form of cheering and intrinsic feedback from the “feel” of the hit (kinaesthesis), and I could see the distance it had travelled.

Date: Wednesday 20th November, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School Hall

Weather conditions: It was raining, so we had to play indoors.

Equipment: A tennis ball, a flat bat, a stopwatch and 8 cones.

Assistants: Kelly (we didn’t need the other assistants as we couldn’t play a full match due to the rain)

Mood: The bad weather did not spoil my mood; it was just slightly frustrating that I would not be able to play a game of rounders.

Objective for session: Focus on fitness and throwing. We did two laps of the approximately 20m x 10m hall for a warm up. We then stretched the following muscles: triceps, biceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius and soleus. We set out the cones 2m apart and Kelly started the stopwatch. I ran in and out of the cones and back to the start for one minute. I managed to do this 3 and half times. I have improved slightly over the weeks. As we couldn’t bat, as we were indoors, we used the bench for doing tricep dips for 30 seconds.

I managed to do 27, which was very shocking as I haven’t done any recently. We then sprinted up and down the hall three times and raced each other. We then did press ups, which we found extremely difficult. I only managed to do 13 in 30 seconds. With only half an hour of the session left, we stood at opposite ends of the hall and threw the tennis ball to each other using the correct technical model. We played a mini game, using a tennis ball and the flat bat, and we tried not to hit it hard to prevent the windows from smashing. We then cooled down by jogging around the hall twice, and stretching the same muscles we stretched during the warm up.

Evaluation: My catching technique has been maintained, and has not deteriorated, which I am very pleased about. I think I have also maintained my batting technique, as I only went through the motion of batting, but I didn’t hit the tennis ball very hard. I mostly relied on intrinsic feedback for this session, as the usual cheering and shouts of praise were missing due to the lacking number of assistants.

Date: Wednesday 4th December, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School field

Weather conditions: It was very windy today, and quite cold.

Equipment: a rounders ball, a bat, a stopwatch and 10 cones.

Assistants: Kelly (the other assistants found it too cold to play)

Mood: It was too cold to enjoy the game of rounders and my hands were quite numb.

Objective for session: Improve batting and agility. I warmed up with a 400m jog and stretched the usual muscles. I then set out the 8 cones 2m apart and my score remained the same as last session: 3 and a half. We then set out the ten cones 5m apart. Kelly bowled to me, and I hit the ball as far as I could. Each cone was worth ten points. The further you hit it, the more points you got. My average score was 30. We then swapped over, and I bowled to Kelly instead and helped her improve her batting. At the end of the session we cooled down by doing a 400m jog and stretching.

Evaluation: I am pleased with my batting, and I think I have improved a lot over the course, as I could not even make contact with the ball at the beginning. My catching has also improved, and I hardly ever drop the ball now. Being bowler is a good position to practice, as you are passed the ball a lot and improve on your catching.

Date: Wednesday 11th December, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Slough Grammar School field

Weather conditions: Very windy with slight drizzles.

Equipment: 4 posts with bases, a rounders ball, a bat, a stopwatch and 8 cones.

Assistants: Kelly, Erum, Leah, Shamila, Sarah, Shazia, Jaz, Sannah and Salma.

Mood: Rounders is not a inter sport, and I did not particularly enjoy playing in the cold.

Objective for session: Develop aerobic capacity. This was chosen because I have mastered the art of catching and batting, and as it was cold, I needed to keep warm. We warmed up as usual, and played a game where Kelly and I were the batters. We hit the ball out as far as possible and had to score a rounder, otherwise we were out. This made the fielders run, as they had to stay inside their posts and run outfield after it. We scored the rounders quite easily, so we changed it to running around the pitch twice to score a rounder. This made us sprint faster. When we got tired, we changed positions to bowler and backstop. We then cooled down at the end of the session with a jog and stretches.

Evaluation: My batting has definitely improved, and now catching and batting are my strengths. I can catch the balls with relative ease and hit the ball quite hard and with direction. This session, I got a lot of extrinsic feedback as my assistants cheered and praised me when it was required.

Date: Wednesday 18th December, 2002

Time: 12.15pm – 1.15pm

Venue: Lascelles Park

Weather conditions: Snowing

Equipment: a flat bat

Assistants: Kelly, Erum, Leah, Shamila, Sarah, Shazia, Jaz, Sannah and Salma.

Mood: We were very excited due to the snow, and ready to play our recreational game of rounders.

Improve anaerobic capacity and throwing technique. We made snowballs and bowled to the batter using them. However, the snowball disintegrated when the bat made contact, so we threw them at each other instead from great distances, and the aim was to catch them without letting it fall on the ground. We managed to keep the first snowball in the air for 5 minutes before it turned to powder and we had to make a new one. It was quite tiring throwing the snowballs because they are quite big and heavy and the distance was quite large. We were exhausted at the end of this training session.

Evaluation: Today was very enjoyable but tiring. It gave our arms a workout, and since it was our last training session, we enjoyed ourselves and kept it informal. I didn’t mind the cold because it’s almost Christmas and the snow was fun to play with.

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