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

Coach Frustrations: Dealing with the "We Have Done This Hundreds of Times" Problem

I'm sure you have been there: Lots of work done in the cricket halls, nets and middles practices, yet we see the same old mistakes over and over again on the field from the players.

How to Use Matches to Inspire Awesome Cricket Solutions

It's been an exceptional start.

Millfield School started the cricket season this week with two unbeaten Festival wins in the Under 15's and Meyers XI (U18's). We have seen lots of evidence of the winter work paying dividends. A number of players have hit personal best scores or wicket hauls.

However, the rigours of match play exposed a couple of glaring holes in the U15s bowling attack from both a mental and tactical perspective. This forced Steve Wilson (Assistant Coach) and me to think on our feet.

In the first game of the festival, our bowling attack conceded 22 wides in only 50 overs.

What All Coaches Learn from How the World Cup Was Won

I know you heard me say it weeks ago: The World Cup final would be played between Australia and New Zealand. It wasn't a lucky guess at all. Both nations have a whole heap of things in place to make that 2015 World Cup Final pairing almost a formality in my mind.

This is my guide to how the World Cup was won.

Ask This One Question To Better Know Your Cricket Team

I am building a new team at Millfield School this year. This is a huge challenge for the coach, captain and the players who will make up that team.

Whilst I have worked individually with a couple of the players in the one to one programme, I am starting from scratch with 9 of the group. The brutal reality is that we have a 10 week period together to form a team and to work towards playing some really good cricket together.

With that, I was searching for a way to get a deeper understanding of the players within the squad so I "borrowed" a great trick from Olympian swimmer Euan Dale.

Wicketkeeper Standing Up Drill

Following on from the positive feedback on the standing back keeping drill using the multi-stumps I thought I would follow up with another keeping drill that was given to me recently by one of our International players here at Millfield School.

Tom has developed this drill with Iain Brunnschweiler in a recent England tour to the UAE.

You'll need a Katchet Ramp, multistump, Bat or Skyer and some cricket balls.

The aim is to simulate standing up to the stumps to both medium pacers and spinners, focussing on areas such as posture, hip and shoulder turn, catching area, and the ability to react to significant deflections from a realistic "nick-distance". In other words, to push back the boundaries of what is possible when standing up to the stumps.

Wicketkeeper Standing Back Drill

This is a cracking drill for wicket keepers standing back using equipment that is becoming commonplace within coaching kitbags around the world.

We are presently in a "specific preparation phase" of the programme, so much of the aim of our sessions are build volume into both keepers "catch" and to free up the movement patterns to both right and left handed batters.

The session was for two keepers. They swapped every six balls to simulate overs. We ran the session in a confined net area so I ensured that we maximised the width of the area so the keepers could move freely for offside takes and for simulated outside edges. It's just as easy to run outdoors or in the open, or both.

You can use a Sidearm, bowling machine or bowlers for the drill.

You'll also need Fusion Multi-stumps

Move from Indoor Nets to Outdoor Skills with This Batting Drill

The transition from indoor - with the ball coming on to the bat, being able to hit on the up - to outdoor surfaces with slower decks, seam and variable bounce is a tricky one for any batter.

Here is an indoor drill (elements can also be used outdoors) to help batsmen build skill and a precise mental approach.

It really works.

Save Your Season By Making Your Culture Worth Catching

Malcolm Marshall coached a team I played in as a pro. We had played badly for the 3rd game in a row. The great man asked us if "our attitude was worth catching?"

We were being challenged because our professionalism and character had been lacking. It was a great question which made most of us reflect and - ultimately - turn our season around.

As coaches, we should have a good attitude. We are leaders whose role is to inspire and shape teams and environments.

So, the question that I ask of coaches is not about attitude: I ask "is your culture worth catching?"

Turn a Wicket into a Golden Coaching Moment

Last week we looked at the importance of "golden moments" in coaching. There are a heap of individual moments for a coach and a player in a game of cricket. I am going to focus on one such opportunity today: When a wicket falls.

The time when I see most coach-player interaction directly ahead of performance comes when a wicket falls. The incoming batter on puts on their helmet and gloves before standing up and walking to the wicket.

You may get 10 seconds to add value to a players performance.

What considerations should we take to shape our interactions?

Inspire Your Team by Using Golden Moment Speeches

How important is a speech to rally your players?

According to Jolyon Finck, it's crucial. Jol is the Director of Swimming at Millfield School and was the successful coach of the England Squad in the Commonwealth Games of 2014.

Recently Jol spoke about having to deliver those "Golden Moment" speeches to his athletes ahead of each heat, semi-final and final.

In total, Jolyon gave 57 speeches.

In these moments the coach aims to focus, relax, motivate or positively distract the athlete to help them get into their ideal performance state.

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