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Cricket is a sport that challenges a wide range of skills and sometimes you just have to focus on one to give it the attention it needs. So this week the newsletter looks at batting in detail.

Gary Palmer talks on video about the best way to use net sessions, we give away a resource to help you make your nets more realistic and there is an article on becoming a ‘finisher’. If you bat in the middle order its essential reading.

If you prefer bowling we have also slipped in some leg spin tips, but who doesn’t love to bat?

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Free video reveals: How to use nets to become a better batsman

Everyone goes to nets in the hope of finding form and improving technique. But the way most people do it is totally ineffective.

Gary Palmer takes things totally differently.

In this short video, Gary explains how he uses nets at his CCM Academy to make significant and noticeable differences to players technique, mental approach and run scoring ability.
Click here to watch the video and find out more.
In the video Gary talks about:
  • How new players feel experiencing the way nets are run
  • Progressions used to develop sound technique
  • How to net to avoid the common mistake of ‘falling over’
  • Why it’s important to be able to understand your own technique
  • Game planning scenarios in nets
  • What to do when you get mentally and physically tired

10 Ways to bowl faster from Ian Pont

There is not much that is more satisfying for a seam bowler than steaming in, beating the batsman for pace and seeing the stumps cart wheeling back.

If anyone knows how to tease that extra pace out of you it's Ian Pont: Who has coached at Essex, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire, as well as the Netherlands national team and been an ECB National Skills Set Coach.

Ian's secrets are outlined in his excellent online course here. While I highly recommend you pick up a copy, Ian has agreed to impart a few of his fast bowling secrets for nothing.

  1. While you need a certain amount of natural ability to be able to bowl at 90mph, everyone can improve on their natural bowling speed no matter how fast they are.
  2. Imagine you are bowling in a railway track. This will help you run-up straight, keep your weight moving in a straight line in your action and follow-through straight. If it doesn't go at the batsman, then change it!
  3. Your non-bowling arm is far more important than your bowling arm. Use it properly by driving it out and down so it passes your side. When you do this properly, it will accelerate your bowling shoulder and help increase speed. Some have argued that this can stop genuine swing happening, so take care if you rely on traditional swing.
  4. Keep your elbows and arms pumping in as you run up and load up into your action. Nothing throws your momentum and straight lines off like unnecessary side-to-side movements. Keeping your action tight helps you to control the release of the ball.
  5. Start your run up leading with your arm. This drives force down your body and into the ground for greater speed. Drive your arms fast in short a short pumping action which will force you forward faster.
  6. Make sure you fully rotate your shoulders on completion of action. If you have a name on your back imagine you are going to show it to the batsman when you finish. This will help you think about how much of a shoulder turn you're aiming for
  7. Try to drive your chest through the crease just before you let the ball go. The sensation is that of being pulled forward by the batsman with a big rope attached to your chest. This gets you as far in front of the ball as possible and increases arm pull and speed of the arm
  8. At the point of delivery, your hips and nose will be facing the batsman. If your bowling hip is lazy it will lag behind thus dropping your speed. If your nose isn't facing the batsman, your head is probably falling away. The hips are the powerhouse of your body. Get them in the right position
  9. Try not to throw your non-bowling arm too high as it gets you off balance and affects your timing. Remember, you're trying to go forwards, not up and down.
  10. Your bowling arm starts to bowl from the downswing, which is close to your bowling side hip. Getting your bowling hand into this position quickly from your load-up helps you improve your speed and timing.

To learn the drills and techniques for fast bowling success buy the online coaching course "How to Bowl Faster" on PitchVision Academy and get instant access.


How to get your leg break back

You know all good leg spinners have a well disguised googly; the one that goes the other way.

So you practice hard in the nets, trying to get the perfect ball.

So hard in fact, that somehow you forget how to bowl a normal leg break. You are stuck in the hell of only bowling wrong ‘uns.

Are you destined to become a googly bowler for the rest of your life?

Not if you take fast remedial action.

1. Stop bowling

The very start is to stop.

Your muscle memory needs to be rebooted like a computer and you can’t do that if you are still using it every day.

Don’t bowl in nets, don’t bowl at all. Take yourself off somewhere quiet and go back to basics.

That means under-arming the ball with a leg break action, in the same way as you would teach a youngster how to bowl a leg spin delivery. Keep working away until you get the feel right of leg spin again.

From an underarm position you can watch what your hand is doing and can see where the back of your hand is facing.

When you are stuck bowling googlies you will quickly see that your wrist had got in the habit of going too far around, bowling underarm shows you this and allows you to reset the memory banks.

Patience is the key here, it may take some time to get back to where you were. More than one session. Don’t get down if you are seeing little progress.

2. Try again, without the batsman

When the feel is right, go back to nets but do it without a batsman at first. They just get in the way.

Bowl from a standing position about 18 yards away. There is no need to confuse things with a run up and you can focus on your wrist action rather than accuracy.

You may find you go straight back to bowling wrong ‘uns again.

Don’t panic; just go back to underarm for a bit. Everyone is different and some people take longer than others to adjust.

3. Take care

Once you have the basic leg break back, go back to bowling of a full 22 yards with a run up. Things should be working fine.

But take care because this problem can easily come back.

Stay away from googlies for a while.

Then, when you do decide you are confident enough to go back to them (and you should go back), practice by bowling 1 wrong ‘un to every 10 leg breaks.

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Become your team's classy one day finisher in 3 easy steps

Think of the excellent one day ‘finisher’ batsmen like Michael Bevan, Eoin Morgan and MS Dhoni: The guys who can win a game by being there at the end of the innings.

They all have the ability to keep up with the run rate through innovative batting. It seems they can play the same ball into at least 2 different areas of the pitch.

Free cricket test that makes nets more realistic

 We all know how important fitness is to cricket, but nets don’t realistically recreate the fitness you need to get a big score.

That’s where BATEX© (BATing EXercise) comes in.

Normal netting rarely tests batsmen's endurance. It doesn't accurately reflect the effects of fatigue on the batsman's skill levels. But BATEX does exactly that.


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: 122
Date: 2010-10-29