Pitchvision Academy


Technology has helped cricketers advance faster and better than ever, but it's a double edged sword that can also cause problems. So this week we give you the pitfalls to avoid when using smart phones.

Once you put the iPhone down you can get back to practice and play with Mark Garaway's advice on running, and Steffan Jones' ideas about firing yourself up with a match day workout.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The Reason your iPhone is Killing your Cricket


That harmless little iPhone in your pocket seems like a fun communication tool. In fact it's stopping you from achieving your cricket dreams.

How can that even be possible?

We live in an age of unprecedented access to data. With a tiny computer in your pocket that is connected to the internet you have huge information.

And information is power.

But that is also the problem.

Because while the right information used in the right way will help you improve, there is also a lot of "wrong" information.

That is information weakness.

And I'm not even talking about myths, lies and rumours. I'm talking about these three things:


The iPhone is an amazing way to pass the time: Facebook, twitter and Google+ can throw you jokes, videos, articles and updates to your hearts content.

But it's a massive distraction from being in the moment.

Think about the last game where your team was batting. How many guys were heads buried in their phones? How much conversation was going on?

I'm willing to bet there are games happening where guys are even checking their phone at fine leg.

Instead of engaging in the match, we drift into a cyberworld. Perhaps it's silly cat pictures, maybe its reading the Times of India. High or low brow the important thing is that you are not present and mindful.

With every tap, you are training your brain to detach from the moment.

And we all know how important it is to stay in the moment as a batter, bowler or fielder.

How can we expect to keep a clear mind if we seek out distractions in the screen of a phone?


An extension of this, is that the iPhone stops us reflecting after games and training.

Instead of thinking things through, as the professionals recommend, and adapting practice to what happened, we just sink back to YouTube.

We need space and time to analyse our performances. Without doing this our cricket is like a plane without an autopilot. There is nothing making the tiny adjustments needed to stay on course. You could end up anywhere.

So spending less time on your tech gives you more time to focus and reflect effectively.


There is also a physical reason to cut back on your phone use. It's hurting your neck and ruining your posture, which will cause injury.

No one can say it better than the insane but brilliant Kelly Starrett:

If that video doesn't motivate you to sit properly, use your phone less and make the most of your ability, there's nothing more I can do for you!

So, don't be an information weakling. Get your iPhone use under control and get back in the game.

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How to Coach Single Awareness in 4 Simple Steps

Often we concentrate on the boundaries and pay scant regard to singles and developing the art of running between the wickets.

One of the reasons for this is the reliance on standardised nets to develop batting technique rather than incorporating innovative practice and facilitating brilliant cricket discussions to build run scoring awareness.

Here are a few easy ways to spice things up and develop cricketers who can be "run makers" without being boundary dependant.

1. Use your balcony wisely

You know I love a balcony or viewing area that works well.

Make note of each fielders throwing hand, who are the slow ones, who has a good arm, which fielders hang deeper and take that awareness into the middle when you walk into bat.

Great off-field watchers often find themselves on double-figures before the fielders can bat an eyelid.

Sounds simple, yet do you actually talk about this stuff in your viewing area?

2. Automated single areas

As the incoming batter, I used to love it when the established batter said "if I hit it to mid-on on the front foot we are going. If we drop it into cover we will go and if it goes to points left hand there's always one".

Such clarity is music to any incoming batter's ears. It takes the grey out of decision making and automates our decisions as batters.

3. Take the bowler out

Not literally!

But you will be amazed how many spin bowlers are put off by the thought of diving through a non striking gladiator who is backing up.

Stephen Fleming used to encourage his New Zealand players to make themselves as big and awkward when the ball was struck towards them and "create a single" by blocking the bowler.

This works perfectly when mid on is back on the fence or hugging the edge of the circle.

Train your batters to hit the ball to the non strikers side of the stumps by placing a cone down to simulate the batter's backing up position.

Precise placement of the ball will soon come in practice and and in matches you will see your team's single-count go through the roof.

4. G'dunkers

Ex-England All Rounder, Richard Ellison uses the term "G'dunk" whenever someone mistimes a boundary option and the ball dribbles only a few yards. He has a good giggle to himself about this!

We now use the "G'dunker" as an opportunity to pick up a "stolen single".

The lack of pace off of the bat coupled with the fielder stopping in his tracks when he sees big a backswing creates more than enough time to complete an easy single.

A combination of these 4 options can create up to 20 runs per game.

Can you afford not to invest time in developing your teams "stolen single" awareness?

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 19: Your Fast Bowling Questions

The team get together again to talk playing and coaching cricket. This week we look at IPL 2013 stats, and how the shape of an innings has changed.

And we answer your questions on fast bowling, from exercises for speed men through to whether a coach should adjust running style to prevent injury.


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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This is show number 212.

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How to Run a Cricket Club: Dealing with Changes

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

Cricket is "English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water". So as a club - in England, India or anywhere else - you know that change is going to happen.

The way you handle those changes are crucial to the success of your club.

The Unexpected Truth About Match Day Training

This is a guest article from Steffan Jones.

Training on the day of a game is traditionally frowned upon coaches and players who are not aware of the benefits. But the truth is simple; the right kind of training on match day can make you a better cricketer.

Give me a moment and I'll explain why pre-game training is a great idea, and what you can do to boost your performance for your next match.


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: 255
Date: 2013-05-17