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'Recovery' is one of those buzz words around professional cricket that passes the rest of us by.

Quite rightly in most cases as club and school players are under less physical pressure than the top guys.

But we still get sore after games.

So we can still learn a thing or two about making sure one day's exertions don't stop us playing well the next. Don't worry, no ice baths needed, just 5 simple tricks in this week's main article.

We also look at a couple of ways captains and fielders can set a field to bad bowling despite the golden rule we have all be told. Plus we think about bringing in youngsters to senior sides and what 'team culture' is all about.

No mission statements required.
Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

5 Ways to recover from a hard day's cricket

How do you get over that next day (or few days) soreness that cricket gives you?

I'm thinking about it especially today because, until now, my team have been good enough to bowl sides out well inside the allotted 50 overs. But this weekend it took the full overs to get the runs and my keeping legs have been feeling the strain.

It's not just annoying to walk around at work feeling stiff on a Monday either.

Players who play twice a week end up doing poorly in their second game because their body has not recovered from the first.

Fortunately, 'recovery' is a well research part of sport, especially in professional country cricket where intense games come thick and fast.

Here are some of the simpler methods of getting back on track quickly:

1. Compression tights

Research has show that tights increase the flow of blood to muscles in the legs, and more blood means more oxygen which leads to a quicker recovery. The anecdotal reports of players in professional county cricket back this up.

Most professional strength coaches in cricket insist players put on a pair as soon as possible after play or coming off from batting or fielding. There is nothing to stop you doing the same.

2. Foam rolling

As we have discussed before, foam rolling is a fast and easy way to relax the fascia around muscles and reduce the minor inflammation that comes off the back of a cricket match.

You may have to experiment to find the perfect routine for you, but I find 5 minutes of foam rolling on the morning of a match, followed by a longer session the day after works to reduce soreness and improve range of motion in my joints.

It's also excellent when used as a warm up for a 'blood flow' workout (see number 3).

3. Increasing blood flow

Like we talked about with compression tights, one really effective way to improve recovery is to increase the flow of blood to muscles.

By far the easiest way to do this is by working those muscles with simple exercises the morning after play. Just moving your body is enough to get the heart rate up and more blood round the body.

You can walk, swim or go for a bike ride. You can do a light bodyweight workout which is especially good if you have injury problems and want to do some preventative exercise. The point is; get moving.

4. Sleeping

We all know we should get plenty of sleep but how many of us get enough every night?

But we should, because sleep is an incredible recovery tool. Put simply, the more we get the faster we recover.

And while nobody really knows what 'enough' sleep is (8 hours is a good rule of thumb but far from accurate for everyone), experts do agree that while you sleep your muscles get to work repairing themselves at a tremendous rate.

So the more time you can spend in that state the better. Plus it gives you a good excuse for a bit of a lie in. What's not to like?

5. Eating

Another overlooked recovery method is eating. A lot of cricketers think that 'carbing up' after a game is all you need to do but it's actually about 'nutrienting up'

(I know nutrienting isn't a word, but you get my drift.)

After a game your body needs fuel to start repairing damage. Yes, carbohydrates are an important part of that but so are fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Get a good 'post workout' drink in as fast as possible after straining in the field. It doesn't have to be an expensive powder either. Chocolate milk works brilliantly and even a post-match pint of beer has been show to aid recovery.

Other than that, it's all about eating natural, unprocessed, whole foods including lots of fruit and vegetables. A bit like this.

Will these 5 tips stop all post-match soreness?

No, nothing can do that, but a few simple tricks can make a big difference and allow you to play better in more games for longer in your cricket career.

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Learn the secret coaching methods and drills of playing spin bowling

How good are you, or the players you coach, at playing good spin bowling?

Chances are you have been made a fool of at some point by a top class spinner. Most of us have.

But it's not really your fault.

After all, how much practice does anyone do against decent spin bowling?

Nets are dominated by seamers or occasional spinners who get much less drift, dip and turn. No wonder when you come across a good spinner you fall into his trap or end up slogging.

But all that can stop and you can start playing spin well instead.

In the course "The Complete Guide To Effectively Playing Spin Bowling", Gary Palmer explains the techniques and drills you need to become a good player of spin bowling.

When you purchase the course you get access to the online videos, quizzes, cheat sheets and workbooks to guide you step-by-step to more runs.

It's like having instant access to your very own personal coach with 20 years experience by learning:

  • The one change to foot position, not shown in any coaching book, that will revolutionise your front foot play against spin.
  • Low risk ways to improvise and stop yourself getting out through frustration.
  • Simple trigger moves that can explode your scoring rate in limited over situations.
  • Drills using only a few cones that can teach you the right muscle memory for a long hitting zone and increased timing.
  • How to use an almost-forgotten shot to increase your scoring rate against the ball turning away.
  • A revolutionary method of opening out your body to let you score around the ground.
  • The right and wrong ways to move down the wicket and hit over the top.

So if you have ever been bowled through the gate, nicked off playing down the wrong line or got frustrated and holed out to deep midwicket, this is the course for you.

Click here to get instant access to The Complete Guide To Effectively Playing Spin Bowling on PitchVision Academy.



2 situations where you can set a field for bad bowling

Everyone agrees: You can't set a field for bad bowling.

Except sometimes you can.

Like a lot of one-line advice, it's more of a guideline because there are always exceptions. It's the cricketing equivalent of "I before E, except after C".

Most of the time you will set fields that assume the ball will be pitched up hitting off stump. If you bowl a long hop that gets carved away, well, that's your fault.

Put it behind you, listen to the 'sage' advice of your team mates telling you to pitch it up, and get ready to bowl again.

Same field.

But before you do that, as you walk back consider if you could afford a boundary runner for that bad ball.

Here are some situations where it is possible to cut off the four and not feel like you are covering your own inability to bowl accurately

The inaccurate leg spinner

Leg spin takes a lot more practice to be accurate than conventional spin. As a result, club and school leggies will bowl more long hops and full tosses, especially when they are younger.

So, if you know a long hop is coming set a man back on the boundary, save 3 runs and give the bowler a bit more confidence. With the ball turning away this is usually deep point.

This has the added advantage of making the batsman try and play good balls into the same gap for an 'easy' single. However, with a ball pitched up and turning away, playing square increases the chance of catches behind the wicket.

Of course, this has to be done with caution.

Boundary runners on both sides is a gap too many. Non-first class batsmen are not able to score freely on the on and off side. The good cutter is rarely strong on the leg side too. That means choosing which side to put you man back based on the batsman.

The cut off

The other situation where you would put a man out for the bad ball is to cut off a batsman's favourite shot.

Let me give you an example from a game I played recently. We were fielding and the openers had put on a big stand, one scoring freely the other holding up and end. We had some luck and got the free scoring batsman out. The 'anchor' batsman didn't look in much trouble, but also was scoring very slowly.

We worked out his two main shots were the cut and cover drive. Bowling at one end was our most accurate medium pacer. He bowled with metronomic accuracy cutting out the option of a cut altogether.

However, the batsman was still looking for the drive, and managed to hit a couple to keep his score ticking.

So I set an in-out off side field. I put a man back on the boundary to stop his best shot going for 4 and put in a short extra cover to stop him playing tip and run.

With his best shot cut off he was forced to improvise, play shots he wasn’t comfortable with and ended up hitting one in the air.

This tactic also works well against a good player who likes to deal in boundaries. Instead of a ring field, cut off his best shot with a man there and put someone in close on the drive. It's frustrating for the batsman and causes mistakes.

For more club cricket tactics, check out ex-Glamorgan player and current club professional Adrian Shaw's online coaching course: The Game Plan: How to Build A Winning Cricket Team

image credit: Sarah Canterbury

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How to guarantee the success of young cricketers in your senior team

This is a guest article by Daniel Maddocks of T20Kids.com: Promoting Cricket for Kids. Daniel is an ECB Coach with experience in coaching young cricketers in the North West of England.

Kids often play adult club cricket. But how do we make sure they enjoy it and do well?

Why you should care about your cricket team's culture
Every cricket team has a culture.

You don't have to be a professional side with team rules, mission statements and bonding sessions in the Brecon Beacons. Culture is simply the values you share with your team mates when you get together to play cricket.

But if you are playing Sunday afternoon cricket, does it even matter about what culture the team has?

It does if you are even vaguely interested in winning.


About PitchVision Academy

Welcome to this week's guide to playing and coaching better cricket.

I'm David Hinchliffe and I'm Director of the PitchVision Academy team. With this newsletter you are benefitting directly from over 25 Academy coaches. Our skills include international runs and wickets, first-class coaching, cutting-edge research and real-life playing experience.


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Issue: 102
Date: 2010-06-11