Pitchvision Academy


We focus on coaching in this edition, with Mark Garaway helping you to become a professional coach and an article on dealing with difficult youngsters.

But we also talk about how to improve spin bowling and ways to recover from surgery when you want to get back to cricket. Having just gone through an op, I'm talking from painful experience. Keep it bookmarked!

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

How to Become a Professional Cricket Coach


I recently received an email from a coach who has a plan to become a professional coach He asks what is the best path and process he can follow to help him meet his goal.

Here is my reply. This is the first part and I will finish off in the next article (link at the bottom).

There are two paths to develop your knowledge and competency as a coach. There is the formal path and the informal path. Let's deal with the formal pathway here.

Formal pathways are through the Coach Education structures that are provided by the National Governing Body for Cricket in your country or region.

I am lucky to be living in England where the ECB have driven Coach Education and I personally owe a lot of my experiences over the past 20 years to the structure and people that the ECB have put in place to develop coaches in this country.

When to start coaching

I would encourage any interested cricketer or cricket person to start their coaching learning through enrolling on the entry level course.

The diagram below shows the entry level options available in the UK through the ECB:

The names of the courses may differ in your region or nation yet the content will be similar. Get on board if you have not done so already.

In more mature Coach Education systems, you will note that there are numerous entry points which relate to your own circumstances. The ECB run courses for Teachers (Primary and Secondary) and ones for people interested in working outside of the school environment (Cricket Activator and Coach Support Worker).

These course cater for different environments while offering solid, proven coaching practice examples that stay with you through your coaching life.

Case study: Paul Wood

Paul sent me the original question and is already a UKCC Level 2 coach. His next formal pathway steps are to choose his most prevalent coaching market working with either Young People and Adults or Children.

By completing the bespoke modules and passing the assignments, Paul will then receive a Diploma in coaching young people and adults or a Diploma in coaching children.

It’s great that the ECB have split these two syllabuses as we all recognise that coaching those two different groups of people require 2 different skill sets.

Once Paul has his diploma the next step is to work into the Performance Coaching section of the pathway.

This is a course split over three 3 day modules covering a huge number of topics delivered by experts in their respective areas. It is a real hike in terms of specificity around the cricket skills whilst moulding in communication, leadership and planning elements.

The minimum qualification that Counties, Regions and States will look for when employing Performance Coaches will be UKCC Level 3 (or equivalent).

Once Paul has conquered this course then he will be able to apply for Performance roles with some confidence and also attract higher quality players into 1 to 1 sessions during his private coaching hours.

In the next article we examine coaching in the professional game and informal learning opportunities for all. Click here to read it now.

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 35: The Secret of Winning

Coming up on the world's best cricket coaching show: The team help Salman end his 3 month losing streak, Mark Garaway talks about David Warner and dealing with getting dropped, and we introduce RoboBurners!

Your questions are answered every week and this week it's discussions about slower balls and captaincy to get you through another half hour of audio cricketing delights.

Download the show now to get your fix.




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This is show number 228.

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How to Double Your Spin Bowling Effectiveness

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

You are either an off-spinner, or a leg-spinner.

But, you know you can be both.

Spinners are mixing it up more and more.

Things are changing. Spin bowlers are realising that to limit yourself to one of the two is restrictive.

Why have 5 variations, when you can have 10?

Why only be able to spin the ball away when you can spin in as well?

Mendis, Herath, Ajmal and Narine are all bowling spells in which they spin the ball both ways. They do it with different techniques, but that is not the point. They are not limited to only being one type of bowler.

They do have their stock ball. But, they do not let that limit them.

Swing bowlers try and swing it both ways.

No one will ever question a swing bowlers if he expands his game by being able to swing the ball both ways. Then why do we as spinners not consider it natural to work on bowling leg and off-spinners?

Don't worry (too much) about hiding your deliveries.

So what if the batsman can spot what you are about to bowl? Hundreds of batsman knew Warne was about to bowl them a leg break and it didn't help them very much. Don’t be obsessed with hiding what delivery you want to bowl.

Being able to bowl both leg and off-spin will add a dimension to your game where you will be able to exploit any situation. Left handed bat who struggles outside off? No, problem I will bowl offies. Footmarks outside leg? No worries, I will bowl leg breaks from around the wicket.

It leaves you in a position where captains and selectors can easily pick you as you are so adaptable to any situation.

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Get Back Fast: How to Quickly Return to Cricket After Surgery

Last week I had an operation, and for the first time in 6 seasons I was unavailable for my cricket team.

Although it was relatively minor as surgery goes, I have been laid up for 3 days with more to come. It got me to thinking that I should share my experiences for other cricketers who have to deal with an operation, and how to get back to the game as quickly as possible.

How to Coach Cricket to Difficult Characters

If you have coached cricket to young players you will know that not everyone listens intently to your every word.

The nightmare scenario is a group who seem bent on destroying any chance of developing skills. It's frustrating because, as a good coach, you are aiming to make every session fun as well as instructive.

Yet someone finds a way to be disruptive to your plans: Asking irrelevant questions, getting bored after one try and trying to distract others, I even once saw a kid so unfocused he walked across the pitch as the bowler was bowling (fortunately with a soft ball)!

The standard advice is "make it fun", but what do you do when your best efforts to make things fun are disrupted?


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: 271
Date: 2013-09-06