Cricket nets with built-in instant feedback on your bowling sound like something from the distant future. In fact, that is exactly what is happening now at the refurbished Taranaki Cricket Association's indoor training centre in New Zealand.
PitchVision ball tracking sensors have been installed permanently under the surface at the training centre. That means every single ball bowled in the net is tracked for pace, accuracy and deviation.
It’s a technology that is backed by research into skill development.
Coaches track performance at all age groups with the goal of creating high quality cricketers. PitchVision assists this process by providing video analysis, a searchable database of deliveries and the exact instant feedback methods that are used to quickly develop skill through deliberate practice.
This plugs in to the modern trend at higher levels of using data rather than just relying on the eye and memory of the coach. Players can instantly see accurate pitch maps, beehives, 3D delivery data, bowling pace and position on the bowling crease. Coaches use this to track the influence of technical changes, physical developments and fitness.
Only now everything is tracked by PitchVision. Imagine how that could help you as a coach or player. The guesswork is removed and you can spot and correct issues much faster and more reliably. You are held totally accountable.
As a minor association of Central Districts Taranaki Cricket doesn’t have the same resources as some, but driven by a passion to improve standards they used grants to fund the installation. That passion now means the association has been able to install the exact technology that is also used by the ECB, ICC and IPL Franchises.
Working with local suppliers Tiger Turf, PitchVision was installed under the surface at the centre in just one day. The under floor sensor mats seamlessly collect delivery data and send it to the coaches laptop using Bluetooth wireless technology.
Of course, good coaching is still needed. Technology will never replace a coach as data still needs to be analysed and interpreted and converted to drills that can make improvements.
However with such reliable performance data available to coaches, expect to see some young Taranaki cricketers breaking through in the next few years as they take full advantage.