PLAYING under western Victoria's best junior coaches has Damon Cooper's cricket IQ soaring to new heights.
Cooper - one of three Warrnambool-based charges who suited up for Western Waves' under 21s on Sunday - said coach Tim Bryce had improved his game.
The Russells Creek batsman finished on naught not out but helped push the Waves within overs of toppling regional rival Barwon Rockets.
West Warrnambool duo Damon Harrison and Ollie Noonan also fronted up while fellow Creek paceman Glenn Moore missed due to personal reasons.
If you don't do well with the bat, you have to pick it up in the field.Damon Cooper
Cooper said Bryce - and former Waves coach Jeff Rosolin - were fast-tracking development.
"Playing under different coaches helps you become a more flexible player," he said.
"You need to be dynamic playing at that level in that you have to change roles and positions in the batting order pretty quickly.
"You can really test yourself against the bowler as a batsman because you're coming up against some really strong cricket minds."
The 20-year-old, who crossed to Jetty Flat from Nirranda, hoped to play in the Waves' second fixture against South East Country next week.
He flagged Allansford all-rounder Nick Robertson as a potential inclusion but said Bryce and Heytesbury Rebels opener Hamish Huffadine, who captains the Waves, would have final say.
"It's all about how much you can give at that level," Cooper said.
"You need to take your opportunities and if you miss one, you need to take the next one.
"If you don't do well with the bat, you have to pick it up in the field and just absolutely back yourself."
Cooper's Waves play at Warrion - 20 minutes north of Colac - on Sunday.
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