Smash Play youth-rangatahi

Smash Play youth-rangatahi is cricket for secondary school aged players (13 – 18 year olds). It provides options to play as a team, with a couple of friends or simply challenge yourself. Cricket is no longer just 11 vs 11. It’s all about the challenge, self-improvement and having fun with your friends.

What is Smash Play youth-rangatahi?

Session Planning and Games Overview

To assist coaches with their training session planning, the Game Index Card outlines ten Smash Play youth-rangatahi games, with their training focus and environment they can be played in.

Remember that alongside the main training focus, all Smash Play youth-rangatahi games also develop:

  • Movement
  • Game Awareness
  • Perception

Follow the links below for further information;

Cricket is evolving - there are various styles, exciting techniques and may different ways to play.

Smash Play youth-rangatahi includes three new game formats - Smash+, Smash 5s and SYC - Smash Yard Cricket.

Follow the links below for further information;

Understanding Smash Play youth-rangatahi with Dr Ian Renshaw

Game development expert Dr Ian Renshaw explains the key principles behind Smash Play - how the approach takes on board the philosophy of backyard cricket and combines it with contemporary ideas in skill acquisition
The Smash Play philosophy
Dr Ian Renshaw breaks down the key topics of coaching Smash Play youth-rangatahi

Principles and Approach

Dr Ian Renshaw provides his expert insights into the principles behind the design of Smash Play youth-rangatahi;

For too long, many sports have over emphasised teaching techniques through repetitive practice at the expense of learning to play by playing games. 

It is essential that our young people are introduced to, and learn to play the game through, experiences that meet their individual needs. This happens via building on six key principles developed by fusing the natural ways that young people have learned to play cricket with contemporary ideas of skill learning.

  • Maximising time for players
  • Sense of achievement
  • Allowing exploration
  • Facilitating self-challenges
  • Non-linear nature of skill learning
  • Allowing for individual differences

Smash Play youth-rangatahi has a focus on the development of leadership knowledge and skills – developing good people, not just good cricketers.

The development of self-leadership focuses on three key values:

  • Empathy-Ngākau aroha
  • Trust-Ngākau pono
  • Communication-Whakawhiti kōrero

Dr Barrie Gordon, from Victoria University of Wellington, provides his insights into leadership development, which is the core of Smash Play youth-rangatahi.

Sport has always been considered as an ideal context for leadership development. Whilst the reality is that there is considerable potential for this to occur within sports, whether it actually occurs or not is largely dependent on the Players experiences in the games and practices. The role of the coach here is pivotal. The way they relate to their Players and their commitment to facilitating leadership development is the crucial factor.

Dr Barrie Gordon suggests, that while the Smash Play youth-rangatahi game resources provide a great deal of support, coaches should also look for other opportunities to help players develop their confidence as leaders. There are many opportunities throughout a practice session this can occur. Leadership can develop in a much wider context than simply appointing a team captain for a match day.

Dr Barrie Gordon suggests that it’s important for coaches to demonstrate key values in their behaviour and the way they coach.

Following a simple ‘Keep – Stop – Start’ framework can be useful.

High Performance Coach Endorsement

Hear from Sara McGlashan, NZC High Performance Coach, on Smash Play youth-rangatahi

Maturation Guidelines

Consider the concept of bio-banding to support a 'Boss Battle' in your training games