The art of using technology in cricket coaching

A bad butcher with a sharp knife is still a bad butcher.

And for cricket coaches, technology is the same: A shiny tool can make you feel like you are going to make a difference to players. But in reality the best thing technology can do is add to good coaching, not make bad coaches better.

And at worst, technology can become a distraction from the coaching process. You can spend so much time tinkering that you get less done than you would have if you had just set up some cones and balls.

But that’s where the art of using technology comes in.

As affordable technology like PitchVision becomes more prevalent, coaches at every level will need to have a new set of skills. The challenge is to get the most from modern tools without distracting from improving players ability.

It’s a delicate balancing act, but here is how you can do it.

Coaching plan

As you already know, the best way to get results is to have a goal and a plan how to get to that goal.

So when you are deciding on how to use technology, always start with your goal.

Many coaches don’t do this, for example, seeing that a video camera is affordable and buying it for “video analysis” before they know exactly how it will help meet the goal.

It makes more sense to look at it the other way. Let’s take the example of wanting to help your bowler’s improve their accuracy. A good traditional method of doing this is target practice; lay down cones and bowl at them until you can hit the target with accuracy.

But it’s hard to keep track of every ball a bowler delivers so you can use a technology like PitchVision to track this for you over sessions and seasons. The technology is seamlessly becoming part of your plan instead of you having to adapt to the technology.

For me it’s all about dictating terms.

Decide what you want the technology to do rather than let it control what you do. Use it as one of the tools in your toolbox rather than trying to replace the whole box with something shiny.

That way you get to use the cool stuff and still be a better coach. 

If you liked this article you'll love Mark Garaway's First Class Fielding.The guide contains the latest research into fielding, and how to successfully apply new throwing and catching methods to players from international to school levels.

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