Pitchvision Academy


This week we get the insight on making the jump into professional cricket. There are articles on being realistic about your chances and the X-factor. The Cricket Show picks the brains of Mark Garaway and Unicorns coach Phil Oliver.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

How to Become a Cricketer: What Are Your Chances?

How to Become A CricketerYou're desperate to become a cricketer.

You watch your heroes on TV and dream of playing alongside them. You play your heart out in matches and seek that chance to show your ability. You practice as much as you can, even training alone when there is no one else to train with you.


The trouble is that nagging question: Do you even have a chance or are you wasting your time with an impossible aim?

You know the raw facts already. Most people who play cricket never go on to even reach professional cricketer level. An even smaller number will ever reach international honours. You need to be a very good player to even get a chance. There are always more people wanting to play than there are places in professional Academies and on team rosters. Statistically you are fighting against the odds.

Yet there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You have passion and desire.

You are prepared to do whatever it takes to reach the top. You are impervious to setbacks and you have youth on your side. With luck and squeezing out every ounce of talent you might just be able to join the cricketers who play professionally.Science has proven this is the cornerstone of success.

When it comes down to it, your goal is simple: The only way you are going to make it score runs or take wickets at your current level. From here you can work your way up through the levels through sheer weight of performance. Cricket may have its politics and complexities but no one can argue with heavy run scoring or wicket taking.

More than one chance

Often I get an email from cricketers like you asking for "just one chance" to become a cricketer. I understand this request. You want it badly. You know you are a good player and you just need to show it to someone who can open the door. The world is at your feet if you only get the chance to show what you can do.

The truth is that "one chance" is not how you become a professional cricketer.

Even the best players in the world did not make it by being ignored then suddenly springing out of obscurity to win the World Cup.

You need to get there through hard, deliberate practice and robust confidence. That combination feeds into on-field performances over a long period. You work hard, you take wickets and you score runs.

There are no shortcuts.

No one is playing cricket because they proved themselves once. It's a 10 year marathon that is strew with failures and dead ends. Success is not linear, it's a squiggle of ups and downs. Settle in for a long, often-frustrating journey.

People become cricketers through a story of hard work and overcoming setbacks.

If you want to become a cricketer then be realistic: Look at your age, your background, and your personality. Only then can you decide if you truly have a chance. The fact that you have read this all the way through is a great start. Now, you can take personal responsibility for what happens next and stop worrying about getting "one chance": You can make many chances.

Click here for more on one chance.

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Wicket Keeping Secret: Posture is Everything!

80% of balls that are missed by a keeper go under the hands!

This is a finding from from the study I did in 2008 monitoring 52 high performance keepers from Under 11 County Age Group keepers to MS Dhoni and Mathew Prior in Test Cricket.

So why does this happen, and how do you stop it?


The ball goes under the hands as a result of a couple of things:

  • Poor posture in stance
  • Poor posture at ball bounce
  • Leading the upward movement with the head into the attempted take

The solution is to work at your posture and controlling your start position and transition into ball take.

The "Z" position is a term that was developed by Bruce French; ECB Lead Wicket Keeping coach to describe the posture that provides stability, control, power and appropriate head and hand height to a wicket keeper preparing to move into a position to take a ball.

If you control this position then you give yourself the best chance of meeting the upcoming challenges that the ball or conditions throw at you.

The keeper creates a Z shape: starting at his feet working all the way up the lower leg, changing direction along the Femur with the top of the Z shape starting at the hips and finishing at the top of the head. The back is flat and chin is away from the chest. This posture provides the keeper with:

  1. Stability: A strong base that provides the foundation for both lateral (side to side) and upward (covering the bouncing ball) movement. The hands are near the ground and are in a position to come up with the bounce of the ball.
  2. Power: The legs are in a strong position with the Quadriceps and Gluteals loaded with energy ready to power into a position to take the ball. Ensure that the feet are pointing down the wicket as this then allows the joints (Ankles, Knees, Hips) to work in the way that they are designed as you come up with the bounce of the ball.
  3. Balance: weight is evenly distributed across the balls of both feet. This means that sideways movement (to the offside and legside) can be achieved easily.
  4. Vision: Chin is up, eyes are level and in position to take in as much visual information as possible to inform you of the appropriate movement pattern to take to take the ball cleanly.

This position is a great starting point and means that the last thing to rise is the head and the hands. The hands should remain low (fingers touching the ground) until ball bounce, then the body unwinds with the bounce of the ball and the hands therefore also hands can rise with the bounce of the ball.

As a result, the ball and hands remain on the same height and line and the ball is more likely to nestle into the gloves rather than disappear past you or clatter into the bottom of your fingers creating those nasty bruises and fractures.

The basis of all wicket keeping (standing up and standing back) originates from this starting position. Master this and you’re on the path to wicket keeping excellence.

The brilliant thing about this position is that it’s not just Keepers who can benefit from good posture, all fielders can. I am currently coaching at Millfield School here in the UK. The 1st XI has taken 10 Slip catches already this season compared to zero in 2010. This is purely down to the posture work that the players put in during the off season.

Now I'm no mathematician, but those seem like positive numbers to me!

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Cricket Show 161: Tips on Making the Leap to Professional Cricket from the Experts

The show picks the brains of Mark Garaway and Phil Oliver about their experience of helping players make the jump into professional cricket. You might be surprised by the answers you hear.

The mailbag is as full as usual as David Hinchliffe, Garas and Burners answer your questions and give away a prize of online coaching. Plus we have the Soapbox, Yes/No and Tailender features that ends with a sledging for David. Download it now!

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

There is No Such Thing as the X-Factor in Becoming a Cricketer

A lot of people say that to be a professional cricketer you need that special indefinable “x-factor”. It’s a magical trait that you either have, or not. If you don’t have it you will never get it.

This is lazy thinking.

Yes, of course you need something special. But there is no way this is an indefinable thing. It’s just something that is difficult to measure.

The Pickup Cricketer’s Guide to PitchVision Academy

This is part of a series of introductory guides to PitchVision Academy, for the full list click here.

Most cricket is played for fun. Yes, there are many leagues and professional teams, but at the grass-roots there are millions all over the world who just use cricket as a way to stay active and enjoy a good afternoon or evening.


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.

Bowl Faster


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: 202
Date: 2012-05-11