71 Quick Ways to Play Better Cricket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

71 Quick Ways to Play Better Cricket

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Want to be a better cricketer?

Chances are, that if you are here you do. So, here is a quick and dirty primer to finding your way to improve. Everyone is different, so pick you method then get out there an get improving:


  1. There is always time to work on the basics.
  2. A study has shown that playing suduko before going out to bat improves batting performance.
  3. The best technique is the one that works for you. Often it's different from the textbook. Often it isn't. The skill is in judgement.
  4. Can't bowl a bouncer? Try a wide outswinging half volley with slips and deep cover. Nick off or a single.
  5. Smart phones/tablets are game changers if you use them right.
  6. Exhaustion is not a good indicator of the quality of a training session. Look at hard data instead.
  7. The more you learn, the more you realise you don't know.
  8. Simply being canny can save run outs. Work out which fielders are weaker before you go in to bat.
  9. The score at 30 overs is usually half the score at 50 overs.
  10. "What it takes" is training when you don't want to train.
  11. Going quiet in the field isn't bad. Often you need to shut up and play to a dull plan. Bowling dry is boring but effective.
  12. Batsmen need to be calm, bowlers need to be fired up.
  13. This:

  14. There are very few technical "non-negotiables" in cricket. There are successful outliers in all directions.

  15. It's not always about "overs under the belt", sometimes nets are more useful. Know which is best.
  16. Practice hitting the stumps as much as running quick singles.
  17. Practice should be a challenge. "Turning your arm over" will make zero difference to performance.
  18. Selection isn't selecting your best 11. The best sides are never made up of the pure best 11, but are balanced into complimenting roles.
  19. If you are going to flash, flash hard.
  20. Get to the ball faster to increase catching success. Most high balls are dropped due to poor body position.
  21. Get your eye in before batting with this routine, 30 of each: bounce the ball on the bat with bottom hand, then top. Hit volleys, hit length.
  22. Good cricketers are not just forged in the nets. The gym, the kitchen and even the bed are all vital.
  23. There is no need for sledging. Fight fire with skill.
  24. Who decides on what is orthodox? Question the source to reach your goals.
  25. According to Sachin, the main factor in his success was "the ability to withstand pressure and execute."
  26. Playing the short ball is more about technique than mental strength. But don't try it without both.
  27. There are many more plans than "hit the top of off stump"
  28. "Hit the paint" = bowl a yorker.
  29. Technique is only about a third of batting. Work on shot selection and decision making just as hard.
  30. Not every ball has to be a wicket-taker. You can put doubt in a batsman's mind with an unplayable snorter that leads to a mistake later.
  31. Strive for perfection, even though you know it's impossible.
  32. Discomfort leads to growth.
  33. Add consequences for bowling and batting to help move from nets to games.
  34. Everyone has a plan," as Mike Tyson put it, "'til they get punched in the mouth."
  35. How often does a catch go to 2nd slip compared to short extra? room for a change in field settings?
  36. The difference between 'natural' and 'making the most of limited talent' is the difference between enthusiasm and determination.
  37. The feeling of the ball hitting the middle is sweet for all, but the way you achieve it needs a unique approach.
  38. Winning at T20 is not about hitting sixes, it's about scoring 50s and building partnerships.
  39. How many times do you hear underdogs complain they only lost due to dropped catches? Puts fielding importance into perspective.
  40. How is your pre game warm up preparing you for the match? If you are not 100% sure of the answer, it's time to think.
  41. Stop a batting collapse before it starts: Ignore the wickets column when you bat. It only serves to make you bat with fear.
  42. Your reaction when coaching to kids who are messing around is crucial to your skills as a coach. Often overlooked.
  43. A good coach is like an Apple product: Uses elegant solutions to problems you didn't know you had.
  44. Using a bowling machine only does a small % of the job. Throwdowns and bowlers are important.
  45. A coach is like a surgeon with a scalpel. Leave that big axe for hacking wood.
  46. Don’t guess: know. Use analysis and evidence and highly specific practice. Leave “no stone unturned”.
  47. The main job of a coach is to create an excellent environment.
  48. There is a fine line between "best practice" and dogma. Is there a place for both?
  49. The next stage in cricket coaching: The quantified cricketer
  50. "Game sense" coaching is not about letting players play a game.
  51. Phrases to avoid: "you should" and "just.."
  52. "Character", like skill, can be evoked, challenged, and strengthened by quality coaching.
  53. It's much easier to teach a good batsman to be a competent keeper, than to teach a good keeper to be a competent batsman.
  54. Outcome is more important than process for batting but process is more important for bowling.
  55. "Try" implies "I'm going to fail, but I don't want to". Do or not do.
  56. Managing bowlers is mental and physical.
  57. Fielding is not a young man's game. Fielding is an athletes game. Age is one factor but not the only one. You can be a young Monty Panasar or an old Johnty Rhodes.
  58. It's easy to focus on what you failed to do to prepare. Take time to remember what you achieved. You'll surprise yourself.
  59. When the pressure is on, it is the mavericks - with bullet-proof confidence - who keep their foot on the gas.
  60. The power of wickets in limited over cricket: you don't even need power batsmen if you bowl teams out.
  61. You don't need to be fit to be skilled. You don't need to be skilled to be fit. But, both parts feed off each other.
  62. Either find a solution or drop it: Moaning only serves to make others miserable about your problems.
  63. A forward defence can demoralise a bowler. If it's right in the middle he will wonder how he can ever get past it.
  64. Hard work doesn't pay off. Smart work pays off.
  65. T20 can be harder on the bowler's body than longer games because volume is not effort.
  66. A gentle spinner throwing the ball up with a defensive field wins more games than getting a bat-pad against number 11 set on defence.
  67. In season practice is about tactical awareness, not brushing up your cover drive technique.
  68. Any decision taken in the moment is better than no decision. Paralysis loses cricket games, fear does not.
  69. Want a quick way to improve nets? Challenge bowler to see how many balls they can deliver before batsman can play a leave.
  70. Take 5 minutes before nets to decide on a goal to make having a hit into practice with purpose.
  71. Think more about risk management when batting rather than orthodox vs unorthodox shots.

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Sir I need help in my batting