How to Coach Confidence and Reduce Anxiety

Nomaan sent in a great question to the Pitchvision Cricket Show last week. It revolved around his lack of confidence, increased anxiety levels and being unable to transfer his considerable practice skills into a match context.

Ultimately he had lost "that loving feeling" for the game.

Drills to Improve Playing Fast Bowling

England's disarray against fast bowling at Lord's was not a surprise to those who have watched them closely over the years.

Despite Lords being a very good batting track, England seemed clueless against the fast bowling onslaught in the 4th innings.

Australia shifted their length of attack to push the batters back and then pitched the ball fuller to bring the stumps in or get the edge. The classic combination of short, short, full. The same combination that undid them in Australia 18 months ago.

So what can be done in this situation?

Here are some drills.

Name That Tune: Can Music Fast Track Performance?

In last week's spin orientated article, I mentioned a comment that Glenn McGrath made about singing a song inside his head as he was running up to bowl. It was inspiring and reassuring to hear a great of the game talk about this as we use music a lot when working with players at Millfield School.

How to Prepare for Bowling into the Rough

One of the features of this Ashes series will be the battle between spinner and batters as the rough patches develop rapidly through each Test match. The weather in the UK has been (relatively) dry for months. The pitches are drier than usual for this time of year.

The Australian left arm seamers will help the rough patches to degrade at an accelerated rate outside the right handed batters off stump. This shall bring Moeen Ali and Nathan Lyon into the game earlier as attacking forces. It is likely that the Stokes, Anderson, Broad and Wood will bowl some overs around the wicket at David Warner, if he stays in long enough. This will also add wear and tear to that rough area.

The developing rough isn't just a problem for the batter. It also creates challenges for the keeper and the bowler as well. I know what you're saying; "Test match spinners shouldn't be challenged by the rough? It should be all their dreams come true!"

For bowlers such as Murali or Warne the rough represented opportunity. For most spinners, the developing footholds can represent a threat.

This threat is the pressure of expectation.

What are Good Areas?

Sam Lavery has been thinking about a good line and length, and he's not happy with the term. Read on for his solution.

"Just hit good areas".

That's a phrase I hear almost every day as coach. Whether it's bowlers, batsmen or coaches, "good areas" is a term used widely used but often blindly.

Can This Story Help You Save a Ruined Training Session?

Picture the scene: We had a brilliant centre wicket practice the other day ahead of a Regional T20 finals day. I was keen to take full advantage of the time that we had available to us ahead of the big day.

That morning, I had a number of emails about various school events in what is always an incredibly busy last week of term. The upshot? Where we once had 15 players; we now had 10.

And it got worse. Both keepers were at school play rehearsal. The forecast said that rain was due at 1700; our practice was due to start at 1545. My best laid plans for a middle practice were in tatters.

What can we do to make this session as good as could be?

How to Use Hypnosis to Become Swashbuckling Madmen in Limited Overs Cricket

I saw a tweet this morning relating to the 4th ODI between England and NZ in the unbelievable ODI series.

The Role of a Modern Cricket Coach: Analyse

This article about the cricket coach as analyst is the second in a series about club and school coaching in the modern day. For the rest of the series, get the free PitchVision newsletter. For part one, click here.

Can a coach also be an analyst?

In fact, analysis has been at the core of coaching since it was invented.

It's just the perception of analysis has changed with the advent of technology, and many coaches assume good analysis is now beyond their reach. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Slide, Dive, Collide: How to Avoid Boundary Catastrophe

Fielding in pairs.

Boundary riding.

Assisted catches.

These are common terms in the modern game. The best players playing with the best players in the IPL and the BBL have bought this to the forefront and we see some incredible fielding feats on club and school cricket grounds all across the world.

However, in the Regional T20 Semi Final of the National T20 Tournament the other day, I saw 2 separate collisions as two fielders both hurtled towards the ball with the same intention. To dive and stop the ball!

The commitment was huge and cannot be faulted. Yet, on another day we could have had a much worse outcome. One of the players cracked rib could have been a lot worse and the head injury could have been hideous.

So how can we help boundary riders to perform their skills and stay safe?

Video: Talent, Work and Cricket Lessons from Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch got a pair on Test debut but went on to be one of England's best batsmen. What lessons can you learn from his experiences?

In this video, Goochie tells us about his path to the top and what he did to harness his natural gifts into thousands of runs. If you are at all interested in batting, this is the video for you.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

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