Pitchvision Academy


We love innovative ideas: especially those that buck the trend of tradition and make you think a little more deeply about the game.

This week we have several of those ideas in one place. From where the captain fields to trigger moves. Whether you take these ideas and use them, or it just gets you thinking a little bit; this is the ideas newsletter.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

What’s Your Trigger: Turn a Meaningless Fidget into a Laser of Concentration

All of these are words used to describe players who have certain rituals before every ball. But it’s not just meaningless; it’s a crucial aspect of their success.

Whether it’s a batsman fiddling with their pads or a bowler tossing the ball up before they start their run-up, they all use these rituals to score runs and take wickets.

Cricket is a game which by nature is made up of multiple quick fire incidents where you need to perform. Being able to partially switch off after every ball allows you to prolong your focus over the whole game: several hours at a time.

In order to fully switch back on, players adopt triggers or rituals that help their mental preparation for the next ball. 

Whether its Trott’s long adjusting, Alec Stuart’s spinning of his bat, Harbajan’s or tossing of the ball, these are ways to use repetition as an aid to your game.

Sometimes these triggers are born from accident or others are made, either way I have to recommend the use of a personalised trigger. These types of triggers do little to settle the player physically, but engage the brain to prepare mentally.

For example, some people I talk to feel unsettled in their stance before the next ball even begins. 

So I often suggest a small shuffle of the feet to feel settled and balanced, or even allow time to adjust equipment to feel fitted. 

A trigger can even be something as simple as breathing.

Effective breathing allows the brain to process quicker and allows the batsman to remain still throughout the focus of delivery. 

As the bowler begins his run up I will take breath for half their run-up and pause for breath during the final half of their run up.

I find this allows for a mental trigger but also allows the body to relax with a full intake of oxygen.

We are all searching for improved focus and concentration. A personal trigger is a simple way to improve yours simply and effectively.

What’s your trigger? 

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How Senior Players Can Easily Support Young Blood

Your club needs young blood to run through its veins.

If you want first team superstars you need people in your club to support youngsters through the lower teams until they develop.

So often it’s left to the dedicated few ex-players who have moved into coaching. Rich clubs can provide decent facilities, but it’s time that is much more valuable than money.

The key to helping these youngsters is about support from everyone in the club: you cannot expect high performance without high levels of support.

That includes the current superstars of the 1st XI.

That’s why this season at our club we introduced a mentoring system, whereby each of the emerging youth players were given senior 1st teamers as their mentor.

Each youth player was matched to a player who complimented their playing style and role.

The purpose of these mentors was simply just to listen and be there for their youngster.

It gave the youngsters somebody within the club who they knew had been there and done that; someone to bounce ideas and get opinions off.

If the youngster found themselves in a dip in form, wanted advice or even had an issue at the club, it allowed for them to have a point of contact.

This supporting role is something that I’m sure many people in many clubs do without realising; but by formalising it, it allows the youth players to feel even more integral to the club, increase their loyalties and most importantly, make them a better cricketer in the future. 

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Cricket Show 132: Mark Garaway’s First Show

If you want someone who has experienced everything in the world of coaching then you need to look no further than Mark Garaway.

Mark joins the show as our latest – and Burners aside, greatest – contributor. He brings a wealth of experience from coaching county cricket, being England analyst, directing performance for Ireland and coaching in the IPL.

And from now on Garas will be answering your questions and discussing coaching news as part of the team.

So this week, with Burners stuck in Reading having a nightmare, Mark settles down in a hotel lobby with me to discuss his coaching experiences and the England India one day series.

Gary Palmer makes a welcome return in this week’s interview. We discuss the trend for coaching innovative shots before the basics are covered.

We also answer your questions on getting back into form, how to bowl faster and what to do if you suffer from technical ADD (download the show to find out what that’s about). 

How to Get in Touch With the Show

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The Unexpected Best Place for Captains to Field

The captain of any team needs to be seen and heard at all times. Everybody will turn to you for direction and you set the tone of your side.

Most people prefer to captain from slip or mid-off. But for me, there is a better option.

With the traditional approach, both are in direct line of the batsman to assess their technique and view. 

Get more runs and wickets by acting like a tailor
Have you ever seen a tailor make a suit?

It's a systematic process of fittings, measurements and adjustments to get the perfect fit to your shape. It's a method that has worked to produce the finest suits in existence and it's one you can adapt to improve your cricket.

Just like a tailor, you can maximise your training and preparation so it becomes perfect for you. Also like making a suit, there is no simple way to reach perfection right way. It takes time, effort and attention to detail.


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: 171
Date: 2011-10-07