Pitchvision Academy


Mark Garaway leads the way in this newsletter with some modern wicketkeeping drills you can try. We also delve into the worlds of skill development, accountability and practice by seeing how a New Zealand cricket association is using PitchVision.

Finally, the cricket show talks about ball shining.

Have a great weekend, 

David Hinchliffe

Wicketkeeping Drills: Standing Back

We have covered some standing up to the stumps drills in recent weeks and now we turn our attention to standing back drills.

The key to standing back drills is to develop the following: The quality of the Catch/Take, Footwork, Inside Diving Catch (ankle to knee height and close to body), Outside Diving Catch (the full length one, can be called the TV catch!)

Basic Hitting Drill

The age old drill for standing back is the one where a coach hits to a keeper from 10 yards or more. Adam Gillchrist has a good example of this:

Coaches should hit the ball from as low as possible so it simulates the ball coming off of the pitch, mirroring the appropriate trajectories that a keeper will face in a match situation.

Always specify the handedness of the Batter when hitting. Ideally, this should be player led. This ensures that the player can find a rhythm when practicing and is building specificity into their practice.

I tend to use a stump to help with this as the keeper can then use the stump as his off stump to line up their stance for either a right handed or left handed batter. I note that Gilly isn't using a stump, this will no doubt be because he would be visualising the batter in place and practicing specifically for either the right or left handed batter in his own mind rather than just catching balls.

Coaches should hit balls that simulate deliveries that are presented to a keeper in a match. 

Upgrade 1: the Inside Edge Catch

One of the ones that is often missed is the low inside edge catch, so a coach should be hitting most balls to the offside of the keeper and then every now and again change the hit and note how the keeper moves to cover the inside edge. This is a great simulation of the inside nick.

Upgrade 2: Pitch Hitting

Hitting off of a cricket pitch from the place where the ball will bounce is a great drill. A bounce drop feed and hit from the lengths that you are looking to simulate with a Fusion Skyer bat replicates the ball bouncing off of the surface and coming past the stumps to the keeper. It simulates angles and pace perfectly.

Upgrade 3: Hit onto a Katchet Ramp

Place the Katchet on the length where the batter edges the ball. To simulate a front foot nick, place the Katchet a full stride out from the popping crease. I hit rather than throw onto the board as I find that I can be more accurate and can produce greater volume. I hit from as close to the board as I can and use a Fusion Skyer to generate realistic pace rather than me having to swing wildly. The deflections are great and you can also add a slip fielder which also adds to the specific nature of the drill.

Shift the angle of the board to bring in slip or simulate the inside edge catch. 

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Going Underground: How PitchVision Helps NZ Coaches Create Cricketers

Cricket nets with built-in instant feedback on your bowling sound like something from the distant future. In fact, that is exactly what is happening now at the refurbished Taranaki Cricket Association's indoor training centre in New Zealand.

PitchVision ball tracking sensors have been installed permanently under the surface at the training centre. That means every single ball bowled in the net is tracked for pace, accuracy and deviation.

It’s a technology that is backed by research into skill development.

Coaches track performance at all age groups with the goal of creating high quality cricketers. PitchVision assists this process by providing video analysis, a searchable database of deliveries and the exact instant feedback methods that are used to quickly develop skill through deliberate practice.

This plugs in to the modern trend at higher levels of using data rather than just relying on the eye and memory of the coach. Players can instantly see accurate pitch maps, beehives, 3D delivery data, bowling pace and position on the bowling crease. Coaches use this to track the influence of technical changes, physical developments and fitness.

Players continue to bowl as normal.
Coaches continue to coach as normal.
The net appears to be no different than any other.

Only now everything is tracked by PitchVision. Imagine how that could help you as a coach or player. The guesswork is removed and you can spot and correct issues much faster and more reliably. You are held totally accountable.

As a minor association of Central Districts Taranaki Cricket doesn’t have the same resources as some, but driven by a passion to improve standards they used grants to fund the installation. That passion now means the association has been able to install the exact technology that is also used by the ECB, ICC and IPL Franchises.

Working with local suppliers Tiger Turf, PitchVision was installed under the surface at the centre in just one day. The under floor sensor mats seamlessly collect delivery data and send it to the coaches laptop using Bluetooth wireless technology.

Of course, good coaching is still needed. Technology will never replace a coach as data still needs to be analysed and interpreted and converted to drills that can make improvements.

However with such reliable performance data available to coaches, expect to see some young Taranaki cricketers breaking through in the next few years as they take full advantage.

To find out about how to get PitchVision at your club, school or Academy click here

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Cricket Show 166: How to Shine a Cricket Ball

The practice of shining the cricket ball for maximum swing has moved on a lot from the days of a quick rub on the bowler’s trousers. These days it’s an art and a science.

So this week the team discuss how to shine the ball and the importance of a "Team Shiner" in the mailbag. Other topics on the table in the show this week for Mark Garaway, Burners and David Hinchliffe are the role of franchises in T20 player development, how to bat down the order and how to get sneezed out.

Listen to the show to find out more.


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The Junior Representative Cricketer Guide to PitchVision Academy

This guide for young rep level cricketers aged 11-18 is of a series of introductory guides to PitchVision Academy, for the full list click here.

Ask the Readers: Reveal How to Improve Your Fielding and Win a Prize!

 We all have to field, and being a good fielder brings the advantage of getting ahead of others: Selectors tend to pick the better fielder in close match ups.

If you are passionate about cricket, you are passionate about being the best fielder you can be, so how do you do it?

And that is my Ask the Readers question for this week: How do you improve your fielding?


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: 207
Date: 2012-06-15