Pitchvision Academy


I have always thought that talking about batting footwork is a red herring. Yes, footwork is important but it’s rarely the cause of a batsman’s problems.

So this week we look at what is really going on when you think your footwork is bad.

We also cover getting strong with the strongest man on TV, and why you shouldn’t pay players at your club.

Plus, don’t forget that if you like any of the articles or content in the newsletter, there are handy links to share them. Good if you are a coach wanting to make a point to your players, or just wanting to share some tips with your team mates.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The Myth of Batting Footwork (And How to Really Fix Your Footwork Problem)

When you first walk out to bat you can find yourself “stuck” on the crease: you don’t get to the pitch of the ball and you end up playing a loose shot.

As you walk back to the pavilion you bemoan your lack of footwork.

Except that isn’t the problem.

Most footwork issues are nothing to do with your feet at all, yet many coaches continue with the mantra of telling players to move their feet.

All that does is lead to confusion and frustration.

Why footwork isn’t important

Good footwork is part of good batting. No batsman has succeeded without having the ability to get to the ball by moving forward or back in a positive way.

But batting is a whole body movement and if you start from the feet and work up you are far more likely to get it wrong.

Think about the batsman who lunges at the ball, determined to get his footwork right. He ends up with his balance too far back and playing shots in the air.

The same guy can also find he puts his front foot down the wrong line in his efforts to get his feet moving. LBW is never far away as he plants and plays round his pad.

The secret of good footwork

To find the secret you need to go to the other end of your body.

Good footwork starts with your head.

Moving your head towards the ball on the drive means your feet will automatically follow. If they didn’t you would fall over.

This automatically stops you over-reaching with your leg and you keep your head in front of, and over, your front foot.

The result is balance, alignment and, of course, excellent looking footwork.

You can even use it as a cue when you are batting in the middle. Say to yourself “head to the ball” and you will avoid the errors.

How to practice to improve footwork

Once you know footwork is not so much about the feet you can forget all the clever ladder agility drills and skipping work. Yes, that stuff has a place, but not in this quest.

No, all you need is a bat, some tennis balls and a willing helper or coach to drop them.

Using the “set” position with drop feeds and progressing the drills as you develop your footwork will improve.

This is because you are teaching yourself again from scratch the muscle memory to get your head (then shoulder, then feet) into the right position.

You can discover the drills, and their progressions on Gary Palmer’s online batting video coaching course. Click here to view How to Play the Perfect On, Off and Straight Drive

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Cricket Show 118: Burners' Shock Revelations

Burners is back and rocking the cricket world with a kiss-and-tell style barrage of revelations about himself, the company CEO and West Indian cricket.

He is still going right to the end so this is one not to miss.

Download it now!

And if you are not interested in salacious gossip, there is still plenty of cricket coaching.

Watsonian CC professional and New Zealand first-class cricketer Tim Weston gives us an in-depth look at the mental side of batting and how to get the most from club practice sessions.

Plus we answer your questions on fear of the ball and strength and conditioning for teenagers. 

How to Get in Touch With the Show

Our contact email can be found here.

Use our twitter or facebook accounts.

Or you can call and leave a message (it’s an answer phone, not manned but we check it every day). If it’s a good story or question we will call you back for a chat.

  • UK  +44 (0) 208 816 7691
  • AUST: +61 (02) 8005 7925
  • USA: +1 347 722 1981

How to Listen to the Show

You can download the show onto your computer by right clicking on the link below and choosing "Save Target as..."

You can also subscribe to the show:

Subscribe to the show in Itunes

Click here to subscribe in iTunes.

If you don't use iTunes You can add the feed manually.

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Why Paying for Players is Costing Your Cricket Club More than Money

Today’s article is a guest post from Darren Talbot; Professional coach, Managing Director of Darren Talbot Cricket Coaching and founder committee member of the Surrey ECB Coaches Association.

The hunt for success is making the sight of professionals a common sight on club cricket fields.

You pay out thousands for players to play for your amateur club. They promise runs, wickets and to bring you the league title. 

With the trophy you get on your cabinet you’ll win prize money.

It won’t cover player costs.

Worryingly you will also get less money behind the bar during the course of the season. Most professionals are not local to you and they would rather spend the tax free cash-in-hand down the local nightclub anyway. 

Yes, these costs can be covered by persuading a local businessman to put some money into the club. 

They’ll probably want to put it towards the development of the club but I’m sure you can persuade them that winning the league will help that goal. 

Does that sound like a good deal or what?

Striking a balance

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against good cricketers being paid to play cricket at club level. For example, in Surrey where I live we need to have a strong ECB Premier Division set up to create new talent pushing for places at first-class level.

 But only clubs who have a natural income revenue stream should even be attempting to do it otherwise bankruptcy, misery and disappointment are just around the corner.

It’s important not to lose sight of roles of club cricket:

  • To produce a new wave of club players through the junior section
  • To provide a cricket club for the local community
  • To aim for as much success on the pitch as possible, playing matches in the right spirit
  • To create a relaxing, enjoyable environment for members to enjoy each weekend

Clubs have many more roles than this but these should be first and foremost. Paying players isn't the best way to do all these things.

So when you are at your club this weekend, ask yourself whether it’s going in the right direction. 

If not, don’t suffer in silence; help it become what it should be.

Before it’s too late.

Learn more about developing a cricket club to make the most of your young cricketers with the Club Cricket Award.


Discuss this article with other subscribers

The Mr T Guide to Bench Press for Cricket

80s TV legend and chocolate bar advertiser, Mr. T knows a thing or two about being strong. You don’t get to be the muscle of the A-Team without getting under the bar now and again.

The big man wasn’t doing it for looks though.

It doesn’t matter how good your beach body is if you can’t floor a baddy with one punch or push a truck out of a ditch. Mr. T was all about real world strength.

Ask the Readers: What Is Your Greatest Cricketing Moment?

We all suffer the downsides of cricket to experience the brilliant highs.

It doesn’t have to be a Test hundred at Lord’s or hitting the winning runs in a world cup final. Even at low levels of cricket you get a great sense of achievement and pride in your success.

So today I want to celebrate the success of all PitchVision Academy readers by asking:


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.


Take a tour
Want Coaching?

Send to a Friend

Do you have a friend or team mate who would be interested in this newsletter? Just hit "forward" in your email program and send it on.

If you received this email from a friend and would like to get subsequent issues, you can subscribe here.


PitchVision Academy

irresistable force vs. immovable object

Thank you for subscribing to PitchVision Academy.
Read more at www.pitchvision.com


To unsubscribe eMail us with the subject "UNSUBSCRIBE (your email)"
Issue: 155
Date: 2011-06-17