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Animated Fielding Drills Get Fit For Cricket


In another bumper newsletter we cover a classic fielding drill that can be adapted to any age or skill, fielding tips, umpiring and fitness for under-9 players.

As always we want your feedback so get in touch if you have any issue or question related to playing or coaching cricket.

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Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Fielding drills: Hand football

Purpose: A general team warm up that works on picking up and throwing in a competitive situation.

Description: The game is played with a tennis or cricket ball. Players are split into 2 teams with the aim of scoring by rolling the ball into the opposition’s goal (marked by cones 4m apart on a pitch 30-50m long).

Players are only allowed to run when they do not have the ball. The ball is passed by rolling it underarm along the ground. Passes must be caught cleanly as a misfield results in the ball being turned over to the opposition. The use of feet is not permitted.

The ball can be intercepted by the opposition but contact between players is not allowed.

2 passes must be completed before an attempt at goal is made.

Each team can nominate a goalkeeper who is permitted to continue after a misfield and use his feet to save the ball.

  • With older players the field can be made larger and overarm throws/catching can be used.
  • With younger players the misfield rule can be disregarded
  • ‘Goal hanging’ can be prevented by insisting attackers are no closer to the goal than the last outfield defender. 

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Become a better fielder by learning from the best

Think of some of the best fielders who ever played the game.

Johnty Rhodes, Ricky Ponting, Colin Bland, Viv Richards...

And of course the Englishman who doffed his cap to a Dennis Lillee bouncer: Derek Randall.

What if you could sit down and talk fielding with one of these great talents and learn the secrets of how they turned themselves into exceptional fielders?

Access to their knowledge would make you a better fielder. And we all know how better fielders often get selected for higher honours purely because they can save runs and catch reliably.

With PitchVision Academy, you can do exactly that.

Derek Randall can't get round and have a chat with every one of the thousands of readers to this newsletter, but he can pass on his knowledge thanks to Fielding: The Derek Randall Way.

When you buy the course you get access to Derek's exclusive advice on fielding. Things like:

  • How to anticipate the way a batsman is going to play, increasing your chances of taking a catch or saving runs.
  • Easy ways to instantly improve just by learning how to be more aware in the field.
  • How to outsmart batsmen who are hesitant between the wickets

Derek has also put his favourite fielding drills down for the first time too, meaning you get to see animated and video versions of the drills that helped Derek become such a great fielder (and ones he still uses now with the next generation he coaches to this day).

All you need to do to get instant lifetime, unlimited access to all the drills, tips, advice and methods from one of the best fielders ever (and still a fine coach) is to enrol on Derek's course.

Good fielding gives you the edge, learn from the best, click here to become a better fielder.


Specialist Fielding: Mid on and mid off

This is part of the specialist fielding series of articles, for the full list of fielding positions covered click here

The mid on and mid off are the least glamorous pair of the inner fielding ring. You rarely see great fielders there and often find lesser talents trying to hide.

So can you really be a specialist mid off or mid on?

Absolutely. The positions require a certain set of skills, and there are times when spectacular work is needed, especially at the end of a limited over match when you are on the boundary and need to dive to stop a four, or leap to catch that ball going for six.

Why have a mid on and mid off?

Placed to stop the straighter drives, these positions are in the first to go in and it’s rare to see a field without some kind of mid on and mid off. That’s because batsmen want to play straight and the ball is very likely to go there:

The job requires you to stop the straighter drives and catch the mishit ones. You’ll also be doing a lot of chasing, either after the ball as it gets past you or along the boundary before it goes for four.

Plus, you will need a dead eye throw at the stumps as players attempt to take singles to you.

How to field at mid on and mid off

Your job is to stop drives with quick singles less important (that’s what the covers and midwicket are for), so you will be a little further back than other ring fielders. Somewhere between 16-26m from the batsman.

Keep your eye on where you are in relation to cover/extra cover or midwicket. If you come too close you open a gap in the covers as they try and compensate. Make sure you command the line by avoiding creeping in.

To walk in or not?

The classic coaching advice we are all taught is to walk in as the bowler runs up. Recent theories have both backed and discouraged the method. So what is right?

For me the key is to be alert, focused and balanced on the balls of both feet as the ball is delivered. This can be done by steaming in like Jonty Rhodes used to do, or keeping relatively still and getting into the ready position as the ball is bowled.

If you are walking in casually then you take the risk of being on one leg, stepping forward as the ball is coming to you. This is a very unbalanced position, so make sure you are stable and you can choose how much to walk in.

Where to stand

There are a couple of things to take into account when thinking where to stand.

  • Pace of the bowling. In general you will be closer to the bat when the spinner is on, and further back when the quicker men are on.
  • Tactics. The further back you are the more you are there to stop boundaries and the less to save runs. Most of the time you will be in a ‘one saving’ position or right on the boundary, but might be moved in certain situations. The key is to know what the plan is and then you won’t drift too far.
  •  Where the ball is going. Batsman and bowlers have different styles. This means the ball goes to different places. Want an example: You may be wider at mid off for an outswing bowler to a batsman who plays with an open face compared to normal.

How to practice

Like other ring fielders, you need to be fit, fast, athletic and technically sound, especially with catching.

Once you are working towards these aspects of your game you can bring in drills to help hone your techniques under pressure.

AN especially realistic drill is this one: 360 degree fielding.

Other good drills for this position are:

You can also incorporate skills into wider team games like these:

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Laws of Cricket: Umpires prevented play?

This edition of Laws of Cricket, in association with the International Institute of Cricket Umpiring and Scoring, covers some more tricky questions of the Laws.

Can a 6 year old really be coached in strength and fitness?

This article is part of the “How to use fitness training to make better young cricketers” series. Click here to go to part 1.

Coaching kids under 9 is no different to herding unruly sheep. But a conscientious coach is laying important ground work that is about more than babysitting in a tracksuit.


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: 124
Date: 2010-11-12