Pitchvision Academy

Nets are part of the basic makeup of practice, so this week the newsletter focuses on different ways to practice using nets from wet weather ideas to how to bowl faster.

Mark Garaway looks at hitting high balls and the Cricket Show features an insight into the Cricket India Academy with the head man, Martin Gleeson.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

How to Bowl Faster with Net Practice

The more you practice, the better you get. That idea is well established: but many bowlers with ambitions of bowling fast fail even when they do practice hard.

The problem is you are doing the wrong kind of practice. You turn up to nets and bowl. The coach offers useful advice while the batsmen go about their business at the other end. You finish with a vague sensation of having done well or badly, but you don’t know exactly why.

This practice is certainly better than nothing, but if you want to know how to bowl faster you have to adjust your sessions to match your aim.

Here are some simple ways to do exactly that.

1. Use the warm up to improve your technique

Most bowlers warm up to prevent injury. That’s sensible, but you can also use the warm up to work on the important technical points of your action.

Very fast bowlers tend to have a very large separation of hips and shoulders. If you create this large rotation, it should come from the upper-, or thoracic-spine rather than the lower back. You can help to improve your separation by warming up with t-spine mobility exercises before you even pick up a cricket ball.

Then you can move on to more specific technical warm up drills outside the net.

Ian Pont and Andy Caddick cover drills in their online courses on How to Bowl Faster that include:

  • Run Up Speed/Tempo
  • Arm Pull
  • Knee Drive
  • Hip Drive

All these can be done in the warm up and they you can move straight to bowling with the right feel for bowling faster. You will begin to feel the difference very quickly compared to a traditional warm up that just focuses on getting up a sweat.

2. Start slowly

When you do finally get a ball in your hand don’t throw everything into the first ball. Take your time to build things up

Start by walking through your action, focusing on whatever technical point you were working on in the warm up. Bowl a few balls at walking pace but still look to snap through the crease with your action. You are not “slowing down to be more accurate” you are bowling with intensity, just getting the feel for your action by building it up.

When you are ready, move to a jog and a run off a shorter run up. If you are outdoors you can move to a full run up after a few balls at each stage.

Some people will argue this phase of practice is not realistic because you are not bowling properly. Really, it’s time well spent teaching your body the techniques you need to bowl faster. It’s 5-10 minutes well spent, even if the batsman complains.

3. Ignore the batsmen

Speaking of the man at the other end; ignore him.

Ideally you will be bowling without a batsman in the net at all, but very often you have to bowl to someone. In practice - especially practice where you are working on technical points to be a faster bowler - this is a distraction.

So simply pretend he isn’t there. Focus on getting the ball down the other end as rapidly as possible no matter how well or poorly the batsman plays.

Being aware of this is half the battle. If you notice you are distracted by a batsman then use your walk back to your mark to reset. If it gets really bad then take some time out. Have a bat yourself, do some more drills or bowl in an empty net.

Using these three tips will help you build a strong technique, and stay focused on your goal of speed during nets.

Of course, you can improve what you don’t measure, so regularly check your speed with PitchVision to find out what is working to ramp up that extra yard of pace.

Then keep practicing hard and smart in nets to bowl faster in your cricket games. 

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Become a World Class Hitter and Watch your Players Emulate the Greats

The better we as coaches become at hitting balls, the quicker our fielders will move to elite in the deep. So get out there with your high catching coaches kit and practice your hitting.

As a coach, there is no better feeling than hitting a perfect distance high catch which allows the player to push himself/herself slightly beyond their limits and come up with the ball in hand. That's how we build skill and robust confidence and we can only do that if our hitting is world class

Hitting Skills to develop:

High catch with good hangtime

The average time that a ball stays in the air in International cricket is 4.7 seconds. Can you match or exceed that with control over your direction? Here is one my best efforts on video. Can you beat this?

Over the shoulder catch with control

Work at controlling the distance of your hit so players still have to move as the ball hits their hands. Shahid Afridi demonstrates in this video.

Taking flat trajectory catches on the boundary edge

 Hit from the square, create match-like trajectory and angles for your players and watch the results when it comes to game time.

Also simulate catching the ball just inside the rope with the player throwing the ball up in the air for themselves to come back into play and complete the catch or for a team-mate to take.

Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson would demand me to hit this type of ball for them to simulate and their performance rocketed. It's great fun to practice and has on 2 occasions resulted in my teams pulling off match and tournament winning catches.

Your players will achieve this kind of thing with practice. 

And don’t forget the running in from the boundary catch.

Lastly, a bit of fun; living proof that it is easier to chat in the Commentary Box than get under a well hit ball!

Master your hitting, become a world leader and watch your players take match winning catch after match winning catch. Enjoy! 

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Cricket Show 158: Cricket India Academy

Martin Gleeson from Cricket India Academy is on the show this week to talk us through the work he is doing in Mumbai.

Meanwhile David Hinchliffe, Mark Garaway and Burners talk IPL, techniques, coming back from injury and what to do if you keep getting out early in your innings while looking good.

Stay tuned to the end for this week’s Tailender, too!

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

Bat like Ajinkya Rahane by Ditching the Bowlers

Scoring a hundred in Twenty20 is a rare skill. So how did Ajinkya Rahane -  the latest ton-up hero of the IPL - practice to make sure he could nail three figures in 60 balls in Bangalore?

The truth is that there is no magic to practice for any format.

You Can Still Go to Nets in the Rain

Picture the scene; its cricket practice day and you pull back the curtains to see the rain tumbling down. It’s natural to shrug and call the session off.

But you don’t have to be so hasty. There is plenty you can do in the rain to practice your game. It’s tough to motivate players at the best of times. When rain makes practice irregular it gives people an excuse to “forget” to come. So tell players that practice is on every week come rain or shine and then use these four wet weather cricket tips for something to do.


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.



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: 199
Date: 2012-04-20