Graham Gooch on Coaching Batting Technique | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Graham Gooch on Coaching Batting Technique

This article is an exerpt from the Graham Gooch Runmaker eBook available on PitchVision Academy. For more details, click here.

I want to talk a little about working on technique with a batsman, one to one.

Every time you practice you need to discuss with your player about how your session wants to go: What things he wants to work on, what he's concerned about, what emphasis you want to give. There will be times where a certain technical element needs to be the focus for the whole session.

So with that in mind as you go out to practice, you throw balls. You might vary between throwing it over the wicket, around the wicket. You might try and put some spin in that for a while. I look to work in sets of overs, because I think that's realistic to any match. That's the concentration span of a game.

When you start working with a player and you're going through the period of assessing their technique, you quickly spot some things that don't seem quite right. But as we have said, there are different players that do things in different ways.

That means it's important not to make too many judgements early on.

I think it's folly to look at someone for the first time and make firm conclusions. You need to build a relationship with that player and you need to see them bat, you need to see how they move, see how they play. It's easy to watch someone once and formulate some ideas, but that's premature. Consider your position after maybe four, five or six times where you've seen them play or practice. It's then - possibly - you start introducing some ideas to that performer. You've got to build trust and the relationship.

So, formulate your ideas before you start putting them over to the player. You see a lot of coaches go in first time, they stop the session, go down the net and talk to players a lot. I don't think that's right. I think you have to be a bit more measured, a bit more considered with when you start introducing your ideas.

Batting set up technique


The first thing I look at is the set up, or the ready position. It's not the same for every player. There's no right or wrong way, you just have to be comfortable in your set-up but there's a few basics that we need to make sure we're adhering to:

  • Get your head over off stump
  • Get in a position to react off the balls of your feet so you can move backwards or forwards.
  • The back swing is level with the back thigh, ready to move.

This is where we go from ready to move to moving. It's important that as you raise the bat, the shoulder dips and the head goes towards the target. That's a very good ready position.

From this position you can move forward with your bodyweight going towards the ball or you can push back off the front foot. It's important that whatever you do, it's repeatable. Like a bowler's run up, like his delivery stride, like a tennis player, or a golfer's swing, it has to be repeatable.

I believe the end goal for any player coming out of any practice session is to feel like he enjoyed that and it was beneficial. He needs to feel that he got something out of it and he wants to practice again, the next day, the next day or wherever, before his match comes. You want it to be enjoyable above all else, because if you're enjoying your practice, if you are getting satisfaction from practising, you're more likely to want to do that again. And creating a structure where it's not regulation, it's not the same every time. That stimulates players. 

Transferring technique to matches

An important thing about technical coaching sessions is to transfer those skills into the middle: Whatever habits you bring to a net you will take them to the middle.

If you have good habits in the net practice you'll take those good habits out with you. And conversely, if you have bad habits, you don't discipline yourself, you let yourself get away with things in the net practice and don't think anything of it because it's "only practice", you will also take those bad habits to the middle with you.

It won't be bad luck if you execute those bad habits and it causes you to get dismissed.

This article is an exerpt from the Graham Gooch Runmaker eBook available on PitchVision Academy. For more details, click here.

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Coaching is process. To make it meaning full , scientific, purposeful & resultful needs time ,patience & know how of teaching and learning experience. I am of the opinion that no two coaches are alike as the players . Therefore coaching process is very difficult if an individual has no analytical mind in handling players individually and collectively.