Excellent coaching starts with the relentless pursuit of excellence. There is nowhere that this is more important that your own development as a coach.

The world of coaching changes all the time. Theories come and go, some stick because they work. New drills are developed. Old methods are re-examined: the discussion is never ending.

That’s why "Coaching to Win" exists. It’s a place for you to learn about ideas and methods that I have tried and know to work.

It's also a place for you to contribute and discuss your own experiences with coaches around the world.

We are still putting the finishing touches on the place so I recommend you put your name down for updates because we will be regularly adding new content.

Here’s to striving for excellence!

Mark Garaway - Director of Coach Education, PitchVision Academy 

Featured Article

Taking Out Cogs: How England Can Win the Ashes

If you can identify the most important cog and mess up the way it moves and operates, you will force the other team to adapt their plans and their performance.

One example of this is the Australians. The men from down-under always target the opposition captain on the other team. They single him out, and disrupt his influence on the team. As the 2015 Ashes approach, the obvious next question is this,

Should England be targeting Michael Clarke?

Of course!

The aim will be to get the ball into Clarke's armpit early on with a short leg and leg slip or leg gully. If he feels threatened upstairs his foot movement to fuller balls is compromised. He is vulnerable to an edge to slip or to a ball coming back through the gate.

It's a great example of a specific tactic. Clarke is a big cog in the Aussie machine. He's also not the most important cog. There is another name on the 2015 team sheet that needs closer attention.

Nathan Lyon.

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.

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?

What is Cricket Talent?

What is Talent? It's obvious, right?

At the outset of my coaching career, I was asked by a good friend to assist him with a team that he had just taken on. The organisation that he was working for was making the transition from being run by committed volunteers to becoming more professional. Keith had to move things forward whilst being politically savvy.

We came across a very impressive 15 year old batter. He was brave, got behind the ball, had a simple method that looked transferable higher up the levels yet he could hardly hit the ball off the square.

Change Your Format: Change Your Learning and Experiences

In a recent game, Millfield School scored 258-4 against Eton School's 107-7. Sounds like a one-sided game of limited overs cricket doesn't it? But this was far from the truth. This was declaration cricket. This was drama right up to the last ball.

Both coaches met before the game to discuss the format for the day. The pitch was a used one from a game earlier in the week. It was a good pitch, very dry and with patches of rough developing at both ends. We decided that there was potential for a declaration format to be played where bowlers, particularly the spinners, could have extended spells with no restrictions on field placement.

I was hoping that we won the toss as our spinners may have the opportunity to bowl with men around the bat; something that the limited overs a game rarely provides.

The game was on.

Let's examine why it was so good.

Wicketkeeper Standing Back Drill: Relevant, Functional and Challenging

The challenge with any wicket-keeping drill is to make it relevant, functional and challenging.

Last week, we were doing a standing back drill using the Katchet board. I was throwing the ball onto the board as hard as I could to challenge the two keepers. The keepers are both County Age Group players and in one of the cases, an England International.

It soon became apparent that both were not being challenge sufficiently by the drill and that my shoulder was getting warmer and warmer. We needed to solve a problem.

That solution was the Sidearm. Since a recent Sam Lavery article on coaching kit, I have noticed more players have purchased Sidearms. It's great to see sessions where players are practising batting in pairs against the sidearm. It’s a brilliant piece of kit.

I decided to ease my shoulder by attempting to throw the ball onto the Katchet using a Sidearm. The results were awesome.

Here's my view,

Fewer Byes: Wicketkeeping Problems Solved

If you have ever kept wicket then you will know that most of the balls that disappear past you for byes end up going under the line of your gloves, and most balls that you drop hit the end of your fingers rather than smacking securely into the palm of your hand.

"Stay Down! I’ve told you before, stay down!"

How many times have I heard this coaching input?

The answer is too many. The statement doesn't help at all. So what should we do as a keeper or advise as a coach?

The keeper needs some options that leads to her to stay down longer and ultimately, to help her to come up with the bounce of the ball.

We can take a technical approach, an intention based approach or a combination of the two to get the desired effect.

Avoid the "Moeen Ali Pickle" and Learn How to Play Spin

The ball spinning into the stumps at pace has always picked up wickets at a faster rate than the ball spinning away from the bat at pace. Wickets fall quickly unless batting methods are developed and honed.

In the England-West Indies Barbados Test, the bowlers foot holes developed quickly and the contest between spin and bat ultimately proved to be the defining factor in the contest.

Moeen Ali was batting against Permaul, the West Indies Left arm spinner, in England's 2nd innings. And as I watched I remembered something my first coach at school had told me.

What Does Success Look Like?

One of the great coaching questions is "What does success look like?"

Millfield Under 15 managed to get themselves bowled out on Sunday for 75 against Gloucestershire CCC U15s. We had a shocker: 2 silly run outs, 2 players cutting balls on the stumps when the ball was keeping low and seemingly no clue of how to compile an innings on what was a early season slow and low pitch.

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