Pitchvision Academy


Christmas is just around the corner, but its still cricket all the way for us.

So in this cracker of a newsletter we have lots of presents including tips on catching, video analysis and mistakes you never knew you were making.

Have a great Christmas weekend,

David Hinchliffe

5 Mistakes You Never Knew You Were Making In the Field

From the 6 year old beginner to the established Academy cricketer, here the 5 most common mistakes I see everyone making in the field from time to time.

Maybe they are small but all are crucial as a mistake has bigger consequences.

One of the keys to being a good fielder is that you stay focused through the day and don’t let these mistakes slip in. Never think you are too experienced or confident to make them. Keep your concentration in the field and work to support your bowler.

1.  The reverse long-barrier

Some people do it from bad habit others do it from bad body positioning.

The premise of the long barrier is to build the biggest wall you can to prevent the ball from passing you; so in theory any big shape you can create works.

But the ultimate long-barrier is one that allows the fielder to return the ball as quickly as possible; as most long barriers are performed in the deep where an extra run from a poor return is possible.

It’s level one coaching, but a trick that so many people miss.

Right handers need to have their left knee on the ground in the long-barrier (and vice versa for left handers).

Doing the long-barrier the wrong way around puts the fielder in an unnatural position to throw, giving away another run to a sharp batting pair.

2. Looking in the wrong place

Do you look at the bowler or batsman on delivery of the ball?

Fielders behind square; watch the bowler.

When fielding behind square, the ball comes from the edge for the bat.  So by watching the ball your brain and eyes are able to keep up with the pace of the ball as well as anticipate any edge.

Fielders in front of the square; watch the batsman.

Because the ball is hit in the opposite direction the ball after it’s bowled, the brain and eyes will have to react to a complete change in direction and more difficultly, judge the pace at which the ball is travelling in this opposite direction.

3. Standing in the wrong place

I’ve seen this cardinal sin at first-class level; allowing the batsman to take a quick single to you in the infield, especially if you were told to prevent it.

Don’t assume that every position has a set distance from the bat, this changes with every batsman.

But the distance will also vary with the situation.

In game situations where singles are just as valuable as boundaries the need for preventing these singles are greater.

If boundaries are required, the fielder can afford to press back slightly. The batsman will always be looking to hit the ball hard and the odd stolen single is less important.

4. Holding back an appeal

Always appeal on reaction. Train yourself to appeal on your instant gut reaction.

So many players simply never appeal regardless of their fielding position; it is just their personality not to be loud.

This is especially true of younger players unsure of themselves.

But go for it; if you think it’s out appeal.  Chances are that if you think it is close, the bowler probably thinks it’s closer!

5. Ignoring the non-striker

Just because the batsman has hit the ball and it’s been fielded, doesn’t mean it’s a dot ball.

Most batsman will back up, some more than others.

So why not run him out?

It is not unsportsmanlike to run the non-striker out.  If it was unsportsmanlike, then backing-up would be deemed unsportsmanlike.

Always communicate to your team mate who is covering your potential throw first.

 Do it quietly between overs; or if it is you backing up, use discreet hand signal to the fielders on the other side of the wicket that you are available to back-up the throw.

It’s one of those chances you will only get once.  The batsman will be aware of his overzealous backing-up now and the second chance of a run out will be rare. 

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20/20 Vision: School of Video Analysis for Coaches

I don't know about you, my eyes are good, but they can’t freeze frame, move images forward and back frame by frame or calculate angles.

So to support my coaching, irrespective of the standard of players, I use cameras and computer applications to support my players learning and development.

In the modern world there is no excuse for a coach to avoid the use of video cameras and visual feedback with players.

The technology is so easy to use and accessible. Yet incredibly powerful.

Here's why.


A picture speaks a thousand words: The camera doesn't lie

Often, I hear coaches who tell me "Peter just does not listen to me" or "he doesn't see what I am trying to tell him". These issues are avoided by using simple imagery.

As coaches, we can promote good technique, dispel unfounded player views and help develop cricketers through tapping into each player visual learning skills.

A simple 3 second bowling action clip can help unlock the potential of a bowler by demonstrating her action and building her awareness.

But it doesn’t end with the players.

All coaches, including myself at times, can be glib about what they thought they saw.

 Most of the time we are correct in our observations of technique, however, it is good to cross-reference what we think we saw with what actually happened by using a camera every now and again.

It is vital that coaches check and challenge our skills and views as we are constantly challenging the players to get better themselves. It is only right that we apply the same principle to ourselves.

Use what you have

Most of us have our own compact camera capable of taking movie footage or have camera's in our mobile phones. We don't need to buy a super camera to help our coaching, we can use what we already have within our grasp.

At worst, one of your players will have a camera on his phone which can be used to support the excellent knowledge that you are already imparting.

Whether you use the clip you have taken with the player at the time or simply use it in self-reflection are both fine.

The fact is that you are checking and challenging and developing yourself and your players.

So make it your resolution to use Video Analysis a minimum of once a week.

I want to hear from you with the results.

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Cricket Show 143: Christmas Special

Unwrap this early Christmas gift as the show has its festive special.

Burners, Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe share out the egg nog and talk through all the cricket coaching issues of the holidays.

We find out why attacking spin bowling is becoming more important in limited over games and find out what issues Garas is seeing at his Christmas coaching camp in Somerset. Plus we answer your questions on making sure you are not undercooked and how to play off your legs.

It’s the last in the series this week, but don’t worry the show is back in the new year better than ever.


If you have not subscribed yet, then get the show in your iTunes in time for the new series.

Merry Christmas from all the team! 

How to Get in Touch With the Show

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How Christmas Pantomime Can Improve Your Cricket

Good sporting performance is a lot like acting in a British Panto.

Oh yes it is.

How to Use a Tennis Ball to Improve Your Catching in 5 Minutes

Tennis balls: bright, light and fluffy; obvious descriptions.

But what is not discussed is how much harder they are to catch than cricket balls when at speed.

Try it.

Cricketers won’t admit this because everyone knows a cricket ball is one of the most dangerous things in the universe, but it’s true!

Because they are so light and have high rebound properties, they take more skill to catch than a heavy and hard cricket ball.


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: 182
Date: 2011-12-23