As a coach, I’m always looking for ways to improve my methods. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing knowledge.
One of the great benefits of our current tour, “PitchVision Academy Live!” is that I get to share ideas with coaches I would otherwise be unlikely to meet.
Here are three of the ideas that we shared at the Birmingham event PitchVision Academy Live!
I was speaking to the head coach and club captain of a local Birmingham team. The conversation got round to making nets more realistic. As you know this is one of my standard reasons to smash my face into a wall repeatedly when I see precious practice time being wasted by everyone.
But, this club were more enlightened (saving my face from further damage) and were looking at PitchVision to help let batsmen see what value they got for their shots.
I told them about BATEX, the system developed in conjunction with PitchVision that takes nets away from a quick slog and turns them into a complete innings with all it’s the physical and mental challenges.
The great thing for this club is that they can use BATEX for free in their nets. The mp3 files are available from here.
I gave them the address details and they went away happy.
2. Lighter bats
Later in the day I caught up with a coach from a first-class county who was in charge of the women’s team. We chatted about the game and one thing he bemoaned was the trend for bigger, heavier bats.
The women in his team were falling into the same mistake and the younger girls had bats that were just too heavy for them to play properly. No wonder they had a bad season with the bat last year, he confessed.
It’s exactly the same problem I see every year with young players who buy the latest bats without thinking about heavy the bat is.
But he also had a solution. The better women batters have started getting light bats made. A too heavy bat upsets timing but the right weight strikes a balance between brute force and timing.
You might not need a special bat made, but you can make sure you get the right weight and size bat whether you are 9, 50 or any age in between.
3. Fielding drills are more fun when they are competitive
Throughout the events we have been running a game testing the speed and accuracy of fielding using Pitchvision.
The game is simple; you do a drill where you throw a ball at the stumps and PitchVision times how long it takes you to do it. You get a time penalty for less accurate throws.
In this show we upped the difficulty of the drill by firing the ball from a bowling machine. The fielder had to pick the ball up and throw it at the PitchVision fielding target. Like this:
Here is a video of that drill:
We picked the 6 best fielders of the day and gave each one two balls while everyone else watched.
Suddenly a fairly orthodox fielding drill because a highly dramatic finale. The game went to the last ball (for the second event of three) and everyone was genuinely having fun watching it.
Or as someone said to me at the end : “I’ve never seen a bunch of kids enjoying fielding drills so much”.
If that isn’t job done, I don’t know what is.