Pitchvision Academy


It's an exciting time in the cricket world; the battle for Test number 1 began this week with England and South Africa going head to head while the new Indian international season begins with a series against Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile across the world, cricketers and their coaches are hoping to emulate their heros with bat and ball at their own level.

So this week we help you get that one step closer to success with articles on throwing, team culture and back foot play from top coaches like Mark Garaway and Ryan Maron.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Ryan Maron Batting Tips: Back Foot Defence

This interactive diagram is part of a series from Ryan Maron's Cricket School of Excellence. This time we look at back foot defence. To see Ryan's first tip, click here.

Ryan Maron - the former Western Province player - is one of South Africa’s leading coaches, running his famous Cricket School of Excellence in Cape Town for over 10 years as well as being Head coach of the University of Cape Town.

Click here to view the details now.

The tips are provided in association with Maron’s Cape Town International Cricket Academy (CTICA)

The camp for players from anywhere in the world aged 18-25, offers a chance to develop cricketing skills in one of the world’s most attractive cities.

The camp takes place in Cape Town between 1 February-31 March 2013. The Director is Ryan Maron. The other coaches include former South African international all-rounder Brian McMillan, veteran of 38 Tests and 78 ODIs between 1991 and 1998, and Andy Moles, who is one of the most experienced coaches in international cricket. Moles, who made more than 15,000 runs at an average of 40 during an 11-year career at Warwickshire and Griqualand West, has since had spells as coach of Kenya, Scotland, Canada and New Zealand.

For two months, players will get mental, fitness and cricket coaching, as well as playing activities, bed and breakfast, training and playing clothing, sightseeing, tickets to Newlands cricket ground and a range of other activities.

In addition to helping the participants to develop their skills in batting, bowling and fielding, the Academy focuses on physical and mental fitness, vision and nutrition. The coaches will also provide an in-depth analysis of every player’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to return to their home country with a head start for the coming season.

There is extensive coverage of the Academy, including match reports and photos, and a regular practice and match diary for each player.

The CTICA is limited to just 16 players. So act now by visiting capecricketacademy.com

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Learning from Level IV: How A Coaching Philosophy Will Make You a Better Coach

The most respected coaches are the ones who live and breath what they do.

They have a philosophy which encourages consistency. Player/Coach relationships thrive and grow as a result of the coaches energy, expertise and character.

Most high performance coaches have a simple philosophy that guides them and their coaching to produce results in player development and within competition.

Is there anything that we can learn from this and place within our own coaching?

This week, I have been in the honoured position of interviewing prospective ECB Level IV candidates. One of the areas that our panel pushes on is the coaching philosophy that each candidate works to in their everyday practice.

Some candidates are short and concise with their philosophy statement, others use more words, yet the key thing that we are looking for is a clear demonstration that what their statement is consistent with what we see, hear and feel when we watch the coach in action.

One question we ask ourselves in assessment does each candidate is "Does this coach live and breath their philosophy?"

One of the best presentations this week was by ex-international cricketer who came in with the philosophy of "Growth through Empowerment".

I know what you are thinking. What does that mean?

It's true that he words are just words initially, but it became instantly apparent that the growth of his players, his team and the environment was key to his every action, decision and coaching intervention.

He was true to his words in everything he did.

I sensed that if I asked his players to define the philosophy of their coach that they would all say "growth" because his enthusiasm, words and energy was so focused and so powered around that one word.

Another ex-Test player had a statement of "ruthless simplicity and enjoyment" as the philosophy that drives his own coaching.

He again demonstrated this through every word, every action and every example that he presented.

Have you got a philosophy?

So, have you got a coaching philosophy which you can use to shape your coaching?

If no, then would it be I useful to have one?

Can you come up with a statement that defines you as a coach and your actions as a coach?

I bet my bottom dollar that you will benefit from thinking through the process as a minimum and I hope that you will start to use it as a check and challenge process during reflection.

If you do have a philosophy - firstly well done - I stress the importance of reviewing your actions and behaviours against that statement periodically.

My personal statement has been subtly shifted over the past 3 years as my skills, knowledge and attribute as a coach have developed through the opportunities that I have been lucky enough to experience.

Always be revising

It doesn't matter what the statement is, it's congruence between statement and action that matters.

Ask people their opinions of your coaching, get feedback from players, parents, bosses and observers as a method of checking your statement against your coaching action. It's a hugely beneficial process.

Will this process make you a worse coach? I think we know the answer!

Good luck and feel free to send your statements in. It would be great to hear from you.

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Cricket Show 171: Open the Bag

The team talk about India's new international season, how to select cricketers based on character, back foot drives and left arm over bowling.

As discussed, here is Gara's famous One leg front foot drive drill.

Plus, listen right to the end for our competition and to find out what Tailender term means; "opening the bag".


How to Send in Your Questions

If you want to win a cricket coaching prize, you need to send in your burning questions to the show. If your question is the best one we give you a free online cricket coaching course!

Send in your questions via:

Or you can call and leave your question on the Academy voice mail:

UK +44 (0) 208 816 7691

AUST: +61 (02) 8005 7925

USA: +1 347 722 1981

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You can also download this show onto your computer by clicking the link at the bottom.

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How One Team Made the Most of Their Talent by Exploiting Culture


It's one of those words that get banded about in sport and in business as an explanation for everything. Champions are pinned with the tag of having a winning culture, losers have the failure mentality.

It makes you wonder how you can emulate a winning environment.

Critics look at the word and scoff. They rightly point out that sides with a winning 'culture' also always seem to have incredibly talented players. They argue that culture doesn't exist outside individual abilities.

How to Choose the Right Cricket Club (and Get a Head Start Once You Do)

Sushma has a young son who is keen on cricket. The boy wants to play for a club. Trouble is, Shushma doesn’t know where to start when looking for a local team.

So he emailed PitchVision Academy.
He knew it was a big choice.

Pick the right one and a player will flourish.

Pick the wrong one and his career is over before it begins. We have all seen youngsters fall by the wayside.

Where do you start?

Wherever you live in the world, there are some things that remain constant.


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


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Issue: 212
Date: 2012-07-20