Find the Best Catching Style for More Catches More Often | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Find the Best Catching Style for More Catches More Often


Have you ever thought about the many different ways that a person can move and position themselves ahead of taking a safe catch?

I was taught one way of high catching when I was a young player: The "Aussie" style catch with the hands reversed and the ball taken as high as possible with my hands in front of my face.

But I have only ever taken four catches in my life with this method.

I always messed up my footwork ahead of catching the ball!

This experience of difference between my taught method and my actual method has impacted upon my coaching of high catching over the years. As a result, I ask myself the following questions when watching each fielder's methods and before I intervene with coaching points.

High catching checklist

1. Do they catch the ball consistently?

  • If so, what’s their method of choice?
  • If not, then can we try a different method and see if that has a positive impact on catching performance?

2. Do they prefer to take the ball in front of the eyes, level with the eyes or beneath the eye level?

  • Some players prefer the Aussie style because they can see their hands and the ball in front of themselves. This makes this type of catcher feel in control as they have a visual reference point for both the ball and their catching area.
  • Some players prefer to let the ball drop further and take the ball as close to their eye line as possible. This is often taken in what some would call an English style with the palms facing directly to the sky.
  • Some players like to let the ball drop further and make contact with it beneath their eyes and as close to their centre of gravity and tummy as possible. This "COG" style is where they feel most secure.

Movement and position differences

Each of these approaches has an impact on movement to the ball and the position that the catcher takes ahead of ball contact.

  • Aussie Style: It's essential to get under the flight of the ball as early as possible. This helps judgement of ball flight and early preparation helps to get the hands high with fingers up ahead of ball contact. We often see a player rolling backwards when taking a catch. It's more preferable for this player to get too far under the ball rather than short of the flight of the ball as a result.
  • English Style: The fielder will often stand off the flight of the ball by a pace as he/she wants the ball to fall in front of their body so that the hands can meet the ball at eye level. If this person was to get too far under the ball flight then the catching style of preference would be compromised leading to late repositioning and adjustments with the hands. This type of player would prefer to have to fall forward, rather than back so being a pace or two off the flight of the ball is more preferable to being too close.
  • COG Style: Early preparation under the line of the ball, under the ball flight. We often see a player like this rolling backwards when taking a catch. Again, it’s more preferable for this player to get too far under the ball rather than short of the flight of the ball as a result.

Watch you players closely remembering that "The coach is the student; the player is the University".

If they catch the ball consistently with their chosen method then help them to master it.

If they are not consistent then try the other 2 methods and see which one fits them best. Learn about the individuals preferences and apply your flexible coaching points around each catcher.

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Aussie style works ok as long as your judgement of positioning is 100% spot on. If you are even slightly wrong, that ball is going to ground. I see talented cricketers drop 80% of high catches because they are trying to use this method. They misjudge the ball by a foot, have to reach forward or sideways, and at that point you're effectively slapping the ball down.

English style is a lot more forgiving, particularly if you get into the correct side-one position with your feet. You can go forwards or backwards easily, and can reach out up to three feet at the last minute and you're still presenting a great catching area to the ball.

And the English are renowned for their fielding... The "aussie" method is easily the most forgiving as you aim to take the ball at the highest point possible which means if you do misjudge the flight you have more time be it milliseconds to adjust

I think this disagreement sort of proves the point of the article.

That's a lot of words about catching. Not all wrong of course. But you will simply find the greatest % caught when you can see both the ball & hands.

I refer the hounorable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago.

Its not about Aussie or English way. Still coaches are old school. I wonder what coaches have been learning all these years. No matter what you do in cricket it is all about your head. When you bat make sure your head is still and get your head in the line of the ball. All good balls are hard to play away from body. If you have good hand eye coordination then you have the luxury to play away from the body. Liek ABD and Sehwag. Fielding is also similar. Keep your head still doesn't mean that you must stand in one place but while you move your motion must be smooth and not jerky. The reason why the back ward running catches are hard to catch is because most of the time we are catching it far away from our body. So get close to the line of trajectory. Jonty explains why he took more catches in a video. He uses the the "AUSSIE" way. But he doesn't use because it is Aussie way but it makes more sense. When you use Aussie when even for low catches your head is closer to the ball than any other methods. I personally use that way. It works a lot better. Sometimes you have to use other methods ("ENGLISH") when you have to reach out. So the article is good explaining why we should learn all three but main explanation is missing.