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The first rule of Fast Bowler's Club is that you have to be fit (it's OK you can talk about Fast Bowler's Club, it's not a Brad Pitt movie).

So this week we give you a couple of simple exercises - courtesy of Steffan Jones - that will help keep your shoulders healthy.

Plus Mark Garaway updates us from the Women's World Cup and we look at how your personality influences the way you practice by looking at the example of three world-class Indian batters.

Another star-studded newsletter to help make you a star.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Exercises to Bowl Faster: Shoulder Health


You can't bowl fast unless you have a healthy shoulder, but bowling is notoriously tough on your shoulders. If you have bowled for a long session you know the feeling of soreness in your bowling shoulder the next day.

To stop that from becoming an injury, you need to do some preventative exercise beyond just heading to the nets and getting a few overs under your belt.

For a lot of bowlers this means doing work with a band on the rotator cuff and some bench pressing.

But a much better way to stop shoulder injury is to focus on all the muscles around there, not just the cuff.

The shoulder is a clever and complex joint, so you need to get clever with it by firing all the muscles than make your shoulder blade move.

There are a lot of ways to attack it, but to start you can't go far wrong with 2 simple exercises:

1. Pulling: Face pull

You should already be doing plenty of rowing and chin up variations, which is a great start.

The face pull takes it to the next level though:

The face pull is the opposite type of pulling movement to rows. It rotates the shoulder blade upwards and externally, activating the traps which traditionally get missed out in a budding paceman's training plan.

2-3 sets of 10-12 reps is plenty, no need to go heavy as it's a support exercise.

2. Pushing: Ball push ups

Push ups are an excellent exercise for so many reasons, but here we are looking to activate the serratus anterior muscle that is crucial to shoulder health.

Doing the push up on a ball also activates the rotator cuff to double the effectiveness of the movement.

However, it's not the complete answer to training to prevent injury. To do that you need to get a complete programme.

Lucky enough, Steff Jones has one you can take straight off the shelf and start using today. Click here.

The programme is designed by a former bowler who now trains cricketers from schoolboy level to experienced professionals.

It's the best plan for you if you want to use fitness training to improve your natural bowling speed and keep innjury away.

Click here to get the programme instantly.

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3 Things Everyone Can Learn from the Women's World Cup

This week I have watched 4 live games from the Women's World Cup at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. The standard of cricket has been excellent with some very tight tussles going down to last ball deciders.

What has this got to do with you as a coach?

There are 3 things that have stood out over these matches which we can all learn from, irrespective of size, age or gender.

1. Using the depth of the crease

As I have highlighted previously, great players push back into the stumps to increase the distance between a back of a length ball and the contact area against spin, especially in sub-continent conditions.

This technique was prevalent at the Women's World Cup and the incidence of cut, pull and back foot driven boundaries was incredibly high as a result.

Few players missed out on turning the short of a length ball into a high scoring option; something for us all there.

2. Fielding in pairs

This simple idea is often discussed yet not applied with consistency.

The England and Australia teams always chased balls down in a pair, always closed the distance between fielders, running 10-15 yards to support your team mates diving stop anticipating a flick up in the inner circle and always backed up with 2 or 3 fielders at each end.

This made the fielding spectacle even more impressive.

The encouragement between team mates and supportive actions in the field was infectious and got me thinking of how I can use the ICC Women's World Cup as an example to add an extra dimension to my own fielding teams at Millfield School and further afield.

3. Play hard, share stories

The competitive nature of all the players was obvious throughout the tournament. Fierce rivalries were evident in each match that I watched.

Yet when the match finished, both teams sat together and discussed the days playand asked each other questions. It was great to see the players having pictures taken with each other or doing warm downs together even though they were in opposition minutes earlier.

I feel we have lost the ability to learn from each other, in sharing experiences with your opposition and learning in informal environments.

This tournament has shown me the value of getting players together after a game, even if it is only for 15 minutes.

So instead of sharing a drink or post match snack with your ever-present team mate, my challenge to you is to drop the bravado and see what you can learn from your fiercest rival.

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 6: Taking Guard

The team discuss nets for Under 11 players and coaching players through a debut.

We also open the mailbag again. This week questions are on taking guard and Graham Thorpe's elastic bands.

Listen to the show to find out more, download or stream it right from your browser by clicking play.


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!

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How to Run a Cricket Club: Finances

This is part of the How to Run a Cricket Club series on PitchVision Academy

Picture the scene, the first day of the cricket season and you are the new club Treasurer, entrusted with looking after the club's monies.

It's pure chaos. You are handling cash from players who are paying match fees (and chasing the guy who always slips away) while dealing with demands for payment for food and from umpires.

Different Practice: How 3 Indian Batsmen Approach Drills

We live in a time where we know that cricket is different for everyone. There used to be a template, but the more we understand about people, the more we realise everyone's approach needs to be individual.

Take 3 Indian batting heroes: Gambhir, Dravid and Kohli.

Each have had success by doing it their own way rather than taking to same approach every time.

You only need to see how they practice to discover the difference. Here are the ways that these batsman look at a net session:


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: 242
Date: 2013-02-15