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.
Even today, where there are a hundred different types of ball, good old-fashioned line and length bowling is an incredibly effective way to bowl: Hit the spot, do a bit off the pitch or in the air, take wickets. Simple.
Yet it's also a world of pain to do consistently.
Sure, you bowl in nets as much as you can. You put up with slogging batsmen and you take time to work on your action.
Then you get out into a game and bowl two four balls every over, wondering where it all went wrong.
What's going on?
It's not the puzzle you think, but it does take some work on your part. It's easy improve your accuracy (and pace at the same time) with a simple process.
Here's the next cricket coaching video filmed recently at Millfield School. This time it's all about the spinners.
There is no doubt that technology is an important part of cricket, even at grass-roots level. That means when Apple make a product announcement, players and coaches interested in getting an edge should listen to what they have to say.
Yesterday, Apple announced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
Look at the track record of technology in cricket, and Apple in particular, and you can see it's ever growing influence. Coaches and scorers have iPads, players use iPhones and other smart phones as the most portable of computers. Add to this innovations like bowling machines and PitchVision and you see that technology is already a huge part of cricket.
So, the important question is; do these new devices signal a change in the landscape, and if so how can you tap into their power?
I was chatting to Matt Dawson - Head Coach at Cricket Asylum - about the problem of young net bowlers "messing about".
I'm sure you recognise this: The session starts well but as attention span wanes, young bowlers tend to start entertaining themselves. The try to distract each other, run in while finishing a conversation or decide to "bowl leg spin" all of a sudden (and it goes into the side netting).
Of course, fun is a key aspect of training - especially in teenage players - but training time is limited and for most the goal is also to get better at cricket.
So how do you deal with it?
Matt's answer was insanely simple.
Coach Sam Lavery talks us through his perfect cricket coaching kitbag, and what's most essential when space is at a premium.
Imagine taking a current kit bag back 20 years.
Not only would some pieces of kit be questioned, but others would be completely unrecognisable. So what are the options that coaches carry in their modern day kit bags, and what do they have tucked away in the store cupboard back at HQ?
I’ve spoken to 10 coaches ranging from a few at First Class and International level, through to school and club coaches. Here's what they said.
How do you manage your virtual cricketing world?
We live in an amazing time: It's now possible for anyone with a smart phone or tablet to gather vast swathes of data through stats and videos.
Even at the lowest levels, you can quickly generate a huge pile of information that needs to be processed and used to help you or your players improve. It's a powerful tool, but one that needs careful management.
There's no doubt that technology is transforming the way we prepare as cricketers. Analysis tools have never been easier or cheaper so even club players can get in on the game.
When I interviewed Glamorgan Coach Toby Radford, I asked him about how he uses technology to help him coach, and his answer was emphatic:
There is a quiet trend happening around the world: one that is about to become a revolution. This trend will be instrumental in creating the next generation of cricketers. So this year is exactly the time to get ahead if you have ambitions to become a cricketer.
Cricket is getting smarter than ever.
Smart-phones are tiny computers in your pocket. Tablets are full powered computers in your bag. Smart-nets are popping up everywhere.