Pitchvision Academy


There may be Test series starting in India and Australia, but there is much more cricket being played and coached at the grass-roots all over the world. So no matter what you level or location, we have advice for you.

Mark Garaway focuses on learning from the people around you, Menno Gazendam talks about the seam and we look at tips for fast bowlers on fitness and bowling on green wickets.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Mindful Development: How to Keep Developing as a Cricket Coach by Using the Resources You Already Have


Every day you have people around you whom you could extract some learning that impacts upon your performance as a coach or a leader.

Every day I learn from top-class teachers and coaches. I challenge myself to ask lots of questions and make lots of visits to the different sporting and non-sporting environments where these coaches/teachers operate.

Yesterday, I listened to our Head of Music working with the boy’s choir before they performed in the Assembly. His use of language was so precise, so clear that the boys were hanging onto every word.

I asked two of the boys "what have you heard from your coach?" and I got 2 subtly different answers; one related the coaching points into his posture before singing his 3 line solo and the other talked about the need to control his nerves by centring his breathing prior to joining in with the chorus.

It was fascinating to hear how a coach can unlock independent thought, strategy and performance through their language patterns and precise delivery.

It got me thinking about how much more effective I could be as a communicator to my players ahead of performance. How I could use my voice and words to bring different things to different people.

Remember your favourite teacher at school?

What traits, strengths and attributes did she/he have that inspired you within their lessons?

Capture that and see how you can incorporate that into your delivery and your own coaching performance.

Do you have a Work colleague who copes with deadlines brilliantly; who is unfazed by the enormity of a situation; who always finds a way of finding a solution when others can on talk about the problem?

What is it that they have that allows them to perform like that under pressure?

Can we borrow those behaviours and make them our own?

Do you have a coaching colleague at your school, academy or club who is the 'pied piper', who has children flocking to their sessions with huge smiles on their faces; whose players go away and work on things between sessions and come back better for the experience?

What can you learn from the way they communicate and enthuse to capture the commitment of the players around them?

Learning doesn't have to happen through a book or a website. Learning opportunities - and the people from whom we can learn - surround us daily yet often we let them slip by.

Your challenge for this week is to find someone around you from whom you can learn. Watch and analyse their attributes and see what you can import into your own behaviours.

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Cricket Show 187: Keep the Coaching Process Fresh

Coaching takes a focus as the team talk through the importance of how to coach, as well as what to coach. We discover one of the best ways to keep your coaching process fresh and interesting to players.

We also discussing using tablets like the iPad and smartphones like the iPhone as coaching tools, and the role of temperament in different formats. It promotes a wide ranging discussion!


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:

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USA: +1 347 722 1981

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Here's A Spin Variation You May Not Have Thought Of

Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here.

It's a growing trend these days for spinners at the top level to be able to spin the ball to off or leg side.

This is great but batsmen are now doing their best to read what delivery is on its way. They usually try to read it from the hand, but failing that they must read it in the air.


But if the seam is scrambled during flight then it becomes almost impossible.

The likes of Ajmal and Narine do not bother with making the seam look pretty in flight (like a seamer should). They scramble the seam and make it a mess, as the ball will still spin that way. It’s just that the batsmen do not know which way it will turn.

Tahir from South Africa has a very effective googly as he scrambles most of his deliveries and it becomes very hard to pick.

So, if you have the ability to make the ball go either way with doosras, carrom balls or googlies, then try and scramble the seam sometimes.

If the batsman did not pick you from the hand he will have no chance of picking you in the air with a scrambled seam.

How do you scramble the seam as a spinner?

You can change the angle of the seam on two ways:

  • Change your grip (the position of the ball in your hand before release), so that the ball is released at a different angle.
  • Keep the same grip but change the release angle on your wrist.

The best way to practice this is with a two-coloured ball: one with white and red halves. That way you can clearly see if you are managing to scramble your seam in flight.

For more detailed spin bowling advice, tips, tricks, tactics and training drill for spinners in all formats of cricket, get the Spin Bowling Project free 8 week email coaching course.

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Ranji Trophy Tricks: How to Bowl Fast on a Green Top

In a bid to improve batting techniques, the BCCI have asked for green pitches in the Ranji Trophy.

But you know - as a fast bowler - it's not all milk and honey in the land of the favourable pitch.

The expectation is that you will slice through the top order in no time.

And that brings a pressure that you don't experience at any other time.

You can tense up.

Or you can relax too much and assume wickets will come no matter how you bowl.

In both cases a long half volley will get put away, even on a minefield.

Fitness for Fast Bowlers Made Simple (Part 1)

This is a guest article from Strength and Conditioning Coach John Cook

Here is a no brainer: speed is one of the most important factors in bowling. By reducing the decision making time of the batsman, you increase your chances of taking wickets and reduce the chances of conceding runs.

An old school of thought is that simply bowling more will increase both your bowling speed and ‘toughen up’ your body to prevent injury.

But over-bowling is one of the primary predictors for injury.


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: 228
Date: 2012-11-09