Do you want to be a cricketer? Then read this all the way though.
It's time for some tough love.
We get many, many comments and emails every day from hopeful players. The passion is clear however, the methods used are guaranteed to mean that you will be overlooked and never make you dreams come true. There is a negative pattern that is increasing in volume. You want our help, we want to give it but we can't because you are setting yourself up to be ignored.
You are better than that.
So here are those pitfalls.
1. Ask for "one chance"
Before you send that email, pick up the phone or submit that comment, think for a moment. Asking the internet - even a highly specific part of the internet like PitchVision Academy - for a chance is useless. No one will reply. No one can reply.
Most comments we get here are far too vague. We don't know what chance you want, or where you want it. Most of all, we don't know why we should give you that chance. We don't know who you are and we have no first hand experience of your skills and achievements. At best your comment will just be another in the sea of similar comments. At worst, someone unkind will be sarcastic.
Get Attention Tip: Think about how much someone can help you, then ask a specific question.
2. Post your personal details on the internet
Nobody is going to call you up and ask for your address so we can send you a first-class contract, cab to the airport and plane ticket. Especially if the only thing you have asked for is "one chance". Posting personal information does nothing to add to your case as a cricketer. That means it's is a waste of your time.
Not only that, it's unsafe. We have had people post every last detail about themselves even down to passport number. Someone could steal your identity. Remember that forums can be read publicly. If you must leave a phone number, send it privately.
Get Attention Tip: Make contact directly via email with a specific question.
3. Make unproven claims about your ability
Every other bowler online can bowl at 160kph or rip leg breaks with perfect accuracy. Frankly, this is a lie. We know it's a lie because we get hard data from PitchVision systems. It's just not possible that there are so many amazing players lying undiscovered.
Be realistic. Unless you have had your speed clocked, it's very difficult to work it out yourself. You can judge your bowling speed, accuracy and skill by how your peers bat against you. Not by how fast it looks when you bowl a tennis ball. So don't make wild claims. Even if they were true (which they are not) then you can't prove it.
Get Attention Tip: Accurately describe your strengths and weaknesses. If you have access to video, post it for analysis.
4. Complain about how you have no control
I'll grant you that this is a tough one. There are circumstances where people are not given a fair go. But corrupt selection happens everywhere. Complaining about the problem won't stop it. However, runs and wickets are impossible to ignore forever. Perhaps you need to score 500 more runs than the person who's uncle is a regional selector. Then do it.
It's frustrating when you are treated unfairly, but you just have to handle it. There is little you can do to change it, so focus on the stuff you can do. Like score runs or take wickets.
Get Attention Tip: Focus on what you can do. There's always something.
5. Compare yourself to a highly successful international cricketer
"I have a similar action to Jadeja"
No. You don't.
Now there is nothing wrong with trying to emulate great players. This is a sensible method to learn the right and wrong way to play for yourself. However, comparing yourself to a top player does not make you more like a top player, it makes you pale in comparison.
If you are using a technical similarity to highlight something in a specific question then a comparison is fine. However, that never happens. Instead, we hear vague comparisons that help neither the question asker or the question askee.
If in doubt, simple do not compare yourself to any player. You are your own person with your own idiosyncrasies.
Get Attention Tip: If you are talking technique a picture or video paints a thousand words.
This may seem like an attack, but it's really a reality check.
The truth is that we want to help every cricketer who stops by at PitchVision Academy.
We share your passion. That's why we make the newsletter, have a huge podcast archive, have made videos from top players and even offer bookings with coaches in your area. But we can only do so much. The real person who can give you a chance is closer than you think; it's you.
Good luck, and if you need a hand on the way, we are right here. As always.