Chalk vs iPad: Can Technology Make You A Better Coach?
What do you think of when I say “cricket technology”?
All those things are the latest innovations to be used in the elite game, but technology has existed in every level of the game ever since someone decided to protect his legs from fast bowling by putting on shin pads in the 1830s.
But for every clever trick that got adopted – like helmets or Katchets – there are many that fell by the wayside.
Nowadays the pace of development is furious. There seems to be a new game-changing product every 6 months, often with little proof that they actually work.
It’s no wonder many coaches steer totally clear of what’s new.
They stick to the stuff they know: chalk, cones and barking from the back of the net.
It’s not that the old school way is better or worse: It’s just that at least that way is safe. You know where you are and there is no need to worry.
The times they are a-changin’
Yet coaches who try to ignore technology are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
There are innovations now that make a proven difference to player’s performance. At every level it’s crucial to decide which technology will give you the edge:
- Sidearm, which gives better throwdowns and protects coaches arms.
- BATEX, which improves players fitness and mental skills when batting.
- PitchVision, which allows batsmen, bowlers and fielders to perform more deliberate practice.
- iPad, which allows you to have access to coaching content in the field.
It truly is the case that nowadays you have to have the skill to recognise a dud from something that gives you the edge.
How well you do that directly reflects on runs and wickets.
Pick a winner and use it well and you have the extra 1% it takes to win games and leagues.
Pick a turkey and you have wasted time and money chasing a dream with no results.
So how do you do the former while avoiding the latter?
Ask 1 simple question
Does the technology do what it is supposed to do without getting in the way?
Take PitchVision, an example I can draw a lot of experience from.
It doesn’t try and replace the coach; it works alongside you, quietly gathering information and providing instant, measurable feedback.
You can get on with coaching in whatever style you choose. PitchVision never judges, it just carries on telling you the ball line, length, pace, deviation and whatever else you choose to use.
You can apply that principle to any new toy.
If the technology can’t fit with you, you will soon find it gathering dust alongside your other craze items. It’s just another chest expander.
But as soon as the technology gives room to coach or play, you will find yourself using it to add to what you know and do.
It’s a matter of remembering that there is no battle between technophobes and technophiles, just a way of using what works to get results.