Pitchvision Academy


There is a strong focus on coaches this week. We look at everything from taking the hassle out of organising a team to adapting fielding drills to create more athletic cricketers.

There is also the announcement of the winner of last week’s competition and all things cricket are discussed in the latest PitchVision Academy Cricket Show.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

Taking the Hassle Out of Team Organisation: 3 Reasons Why Your Team is Disorganised

A badly run team is an unsuccessful team. How can you expect to do well when the basics are not covered?

Yet every week there are still last minute drop outs, desperate replacements sought and a host of other ways to scupper you chances before you even walk onto the field.

Here are three of the common headaches:

1. You don’t have time to check who is available

We all lead busy lives. It’s a pain to be ringing round players to find out if they are on for the game next week. People have a habit of vanishing when they don’t want to talk to you.

Then there are the rumours. An old player has expressed an interest in having a run out; or has he? Someone works with a new guy who is a demon fast bowler: or is he?

It’s all overwhelming when you have not even organised teas yet.

2. You are not sure who is training

Most clubs can be split into trainers and non-trainers. Non-trainers wonder why they inconsistent form. Trainers bemoan how they never get their chance even though they rock up every week to practice; rain or shine.

If your team has serious ambitions and you are selecting from a squad then it’s a crucial part of the selection process to know who is attending training sessions.

3. Player’s are not kept up to date

Just as you don’t know the score with players, they don’t know what is happening. I remember when I was a young lad waiting to see which team I was playing in. I had to walk down to the ground to see the team sheets. Who has time for that nowadays?

You don’t want to text or call round every player so it all ends up a confused mess for players.

Fix these problems in one place

Fortunately, there are ways to solve these problems. The obvious place to do it is online; you certainly don’t have to look far to see sports team management websites that can help you.

In the UK, Play-cricket, run by the ECB, is popular. It allows you to pick your teams and upload your match results. If you are one of those modern iPhone owners you can even upload the scorecard directly from the phone.

My club uses it and despite its clunky style it does a practical job.

As the popular Teambug site is now not taking up new teams, the alternatives are My Team Captain and Teamer.net.

We have tried both at PitchVision Academy and Teamer.net is the better bet.

It allows you to send free text messages to your players. As a captain myself I know how expensive all those texts can get.  

There is a private team-member only area so you can discuss tactics, analyse stats and look at team photos.

Plus, it’s funded by advertising so doesn’t cost anything to set up a team. Around 40,000 sports teams have pages so the Teamer guys really know how to look after you.

So head over to www.teamer.net for a 2 minute demo and start feeling the pain relief.

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How to Guarantee Your Club Has a Bright Future

You have a vital job as head of the colts section at your club.

Every club is battling for survival; including yours. Even the finest players have to retire. Without a conveyor belt of youngsters coming through your club will die.

It’s a terrifying responsibility.

The best way to handle the pressure is to keep calm and carry on with these ways to keep your club alive:

Focus on fun

Cricket has a culture of “doing things the proper way”. We forget that kids play for fun, not so they can hone the perfect on drive to match the perfect crease in their white trousers.

There is no better way to develop players than to get them bowling, hitting, throwing and catching in game situations. If you set the game up right they have to develop the proper skills but they are enjoying the competition so much they don’t even realise it.

So forget about 15 minute lectures on using the left arm. Put aside the endless drills that seem pointless to an 11 year old. Get them playing some fun, exciting games and build a love of cricket for life.

Qualify your coaches

Many youth sections run on the hard work of parents who do the thankless task to help their children. As a result there are a lot of unqualified coaches doing their best but without a real sense of how to get the best from players.

A qualification changes all that.

Not only are qualified coaches trained in child protection and first aid, they also are taught how to keep kids interested in playing with modern, proven methods.

Sure, the courses are far from perfect and can be expensive but in the long run they make better coaches. Besides, most clubs can get grants to pay for coach development if they look hard enough.

Tie in with local schools

Attracting new players is always tricky. There are a lot of demands on children’s time nowadays. A simple way to keep kids turning up is to link up with local schools.

Most schools will be happy to let you run a “taster” session or two where kids get to have a go in their usual PE lesson. The important part is to encourage them to come along with their mates. Individually kids rarely try something new. However, if the mums get together and make it an activity on the calendar you will find yourself with more kids than you can handle!

Create a cross-club coaching plan

Once the kids are in the system, you need to make sure you have a system.

It’s easy in the heat of controlling kids to forget that you are trying to make progress in batting bowling and fielding. An easy way to stay on track is to create a plan where standards for each age group are set.

So for example an under 9 standard might be to bowl with a straight arm. You know then your job as coach is to make sure all players are bowling properly by the end of your sessions. You can then pass them on to the under 10 coach safe in the knowledge you have done a good job.

As you can imagine, it’s hard work making a joined-up plan from 6-13 year old players. So why not avoid the pain of planning with the Darren Talbot Club Cricket Award?

The award gives you all the standards from under-8 to under-13 age groups, plus a complete guide to putting it into action, including the proven drills and games Darren himself has learned and developed while working in schools and clubs across the UK.

All you need to do to find out more – and get instant access – is to click here

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Cricket Show 112: Being a Great Stand-In Player

With the opening game of the league season for David and Watsonian CC there is plenty to discuss. Burners might still be playing pre-league friendly games but it’s more about the tea for him anyway.

The reader’s questions section features a chat about when to use a trigger move during throwdowns. We also take a look at where to look when you are fielding in the slips.

Plus we talk about team roles and stand-in players with Craig Wright, captain of the ‘Sonians, our adopted team for the UK 2011 summer. With a couple of key players away, some of the squad players had to step up and do a different job than normally expected. Find out how they dealt with it in the league opener against Ayr. 

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Field Settings: Slow Left Arm Spin, Old Ball, Club Wicket, Limited Over

This article is part of "The complete guide to cricket field settings" series.

Who can resist something for free?

How to Use Fielding Drills to Improve Speed and Agility

This article is part of a series designed to show you how to adapt cricket drills for your needs. To see the full list of articles in this series click here.

Traditionalists breathe a sigh of relief: Modern training methods for developing fast and agile cricketers are a waste of time. We should be fielding instead.


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: 149
Date: 2011-05-06