4 Ways to Coach the Next Chris Gayle | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

4 Ways to Coach the Next Chris Gayle

On the day Chris Gayle rewrote the Twenty20 history books, I aptly worked with some talented young players on power hitting.

As with many young players, the guys I worked with today swung hard, hit a few for 4 and missed plenty of balls that sailed harmlessly through to the keeper.

So how does Gayle hit the ball so consistently hard?

What is he doing that is different to the players at my school?

What can we learn from the T20 record holder?

1. Keep it simple

Chris moves very little in terms of coming down the wicket or moving laterally around his crease.

One of my biggest bug-bears is when batters constantly shuffle around the crease; never giving themselves a chance of establishing a base, judging the location of the ball and transferring their momentum from the ground up through the kinetic chain and into the ball.

Excessive movement results in poor contacts, complete misses or a lack of power.

2. Hit through the line of the ball

This is where players such as Gayle and David Warner excel.

I was once taught in a golf putting lesson to imagine that I was making contact with 4 or 5 balls in a line and not just the ball that was between my feet. This meant that the club-face stayed square on the line of the ball for longer, thus improving my chance of making a precise contact. The same thing applies to power hitting in cricket.

Chris Gayle hits down the line of the ball brilliantly. You can see that bat-face going straight through the line of ball as it is struck in and over the area between mid off and square leg.

3. Legside Harry

I was once told by a very wise man,

"Only foolish players look to play through the offside when trying to hit the ball hard and far. That side is the weaker side."

If this is scientifically true or not I can't say, but he would always follow it up by saying "and in most overs of any game there are less fielders on that side".

Fair point!

Chris Gayle hits more balls to the side with less fielders and that is a fact.

Ask yourself why Matt Prior - world number 1 Test keeper/batter - is not in his Nations ODI or T20I team.

Simple; he isn't a "legside harry".

4. Dessie Haynes' best batting tip

I was lucky enough to be coached by the great Desmond Haynes and he started one session with what he described as his best batting tip.

"Make sure you have got a great stick Garas. It will get you out of trouble, make a catcher earn his catch and even your half hits will go for 6!"

When I watched Gayle's innings he didn't middle at least 2 of his first 5 maximums. He has lots of great bats!

So choose your bats wisely, take your time and pick them up before you buy. Please do not buy them straight from the internet as its a huge gamble.

Gayle is certainly a unique talent, but we can learn plenty from him to help the batters we coach improve their hitting skills.

So get out there and show them how to bat a little bit more like Chris Gayle!

image credit: royalchallengers.com

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One comment: if a kid can't smack a ball for 6 by the time he's 11, he's probably never going to learn. The key to teaching kids to hit the ball like Chris Gayle is to catch them early.

Note to AB: I don't know any kids who can hit the ball like gayle. Expecting them to do so is the kind of poor attitude many kids receive from coaches. This attitude forgets the obvious point that kids aren't physically mature enough to hit the ball like gayle.

To follow up on garas article, one point which makes gayle head and shoulders above the rest is his tremendous physicality. He is strong like an ox (has to be to pick up that bat) with amazing balance for one so tall and an amazing ability to generate so much power in his shots. His power combined with that bat makes the ball travel. His balance helps him create that solid base.

So many black players, and athletes for that matter (bolt et al), are truly great sportsmen and break many sporting records know body thought possible. Perhaps this indicates a need in the uk to develop black and ethnic minority cricketers. Where have they all the devon malcomes gone? He had genuine pace, which scared the life out of the Aussies. Unfortunately he was misused and underused by the TCCB. We have the likes of Jordan and carberry, but not much past that.


Hi ben Chambers

Obviously I didn't mean an 11 year should be able to hit a full sized cricket ball delivered at 90mph back over the bowlers head for a 100m six. I really thought that would have been obvious to everyone.

My point was the LTAD programme implies that a natural ability to strike a ball cleanly is something that is only developed by cricketers who have had exposure to that skill or similar skills between the ages of 6 and 11.

I didn't think you would expect an 11 year old to hit a full sized cricket ball delivered at 90 mph back over the bowlers head for 100m six, that would be ludicrous. But to say that if a kid can't hit a six by the time he's 11, he's never going to learn to is, in my opinion, wide of the mark. Even on an 11 year olds size pitch it would be difficult for most of them to hit a six. Those 11 year olds who are bigger than the rest might be able to but I don't know many who can. You can strike a ball cleanly without it going for six. The LTAD programme, is what it says - long term I.e. one might not be able to hit a six at age 11 but learn to hit the ball out of the middle of the bat, physically train at the right windows of opportunity in later years then be able to hit a six when physicality has developed enough to allow you to do so. It's a marathon not a sprint!

Now I'm not so sure you have to develop that skilll between the ages 11 and 6, I only started playing cricket when I was 13 and I am hitting lots of sixes now, so I don't know. Even the most defensive batsman in my team (he started playing when he was 14) who never hits a ball in the air and never even tries to hits more balls for sixes in T20's than he block balls in 75 over games.

i ve a serious problem with my batting grip i actually keep my upper hand grip which is my left hand too tight is that right?i can strike the ball big but not consistently plz guide me

I being a 11 year old hit a 106m six through the leg side.