Pitchvision Academy


It's a week of very special guests in the newsletter. The roster includes Harry Shapiro (leg Spin), Adam Kelly (psychology), Dr. Laurence Houghton (net practice and fitness), Scott Boswell (coaching) and of course the ever-reliable Mark Garaway. Talk about a dream team!

We cover planning an over, captaincy, making nets better, using your memory to your advantage, overcoming the yips and a big dose of cricket technology. Strap in, settle down and soak it up.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Is Bad Planning Costing You Wickets?


This is a guest article from Harry Shapiro, spin bowling coach. To get your free trial membership of the Leg Spin Association, click here.

Planning your over is hard. It take plenty of practice and control. No wonder young spinners get despondent when it doesn't quite work. That's no excuse to abandon good planning.

Part of the reason spinners don't plan their overs well is because the state of the game brings in a lot of different ways to approach things.To make it easier, here is a basic guideline from which you can start thinking about your bowling. You may adapt it to the state of the game on the day, but start here if you want to plan well.

There are two ways to look at planning an over:


1. Set up an over based on runs

Your first job as leg spinner is to bowl overs! This means you need to stay on once you’ve been thrown the ball. For this reason it is important that some of the balls in your over are dedicated at keeping you on to bowl the next over.

SO think of your over in three parts:

  • Ball 1 & 2 is used to "open" your over.
  • Ball 3 & 4 is your wicket taking balls
  • Ball 5 & 6 is used to "close" your over.

Your aim for ball 1 & 2 is for these to be dot balls. Bowl your stock ball at a decent pace. This creates pressure in your over as the batsman will realise they are not scoring. Ball 5 & 6 your aim is to "win the over" with another two dots.

If you are going to entice a wicket by a variation ball or changing your pace, set it up using ball 3 and try to strike with ball 4.

If ball 1 & 2 go for 2 runs or more, you have not earned the right to take a chance with ball 3 & 4. Bowl stock deliveries the rest of the over to make sure the over doesn't undo the pressure the team has built up. Remember that a wicket can come off any ball in the over as the batsman can make a mistake on any ball, especially if you have built good pressure.

2. Setting up an over based on control of lines

Ball 1 is again used to open your over with a dot ball.

Ball 2 & 3 & 4 is stock leg spinners, but each time dragging the batsman’s front foot wider: Start ball 2 on middle stump line, ball 3 on off stump line and ball 4 just outside off stump line.

Follow up with a googly on the same outside off stump line. Ball 6 is used again to close your over with a dot.

A similar tactic of dragging the batsman's front foot across the crease can be used to set up a slider on middle stump.

This skill takes control Enjoy practicing the control of this in the nets when you are bowling to targets, and trying it in the nets when bowling to your team mates. Remember the game of cricket is about getting it right on some days, but also getting it wrong on other days.

How do you plan your overs? What do you do when it doesn't go to plan?

To get your free trial membership of the Leg Spin Association, click here.

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Don't Let "Peak End Rule" Make you Train Like a Dummy

Adam Kelly is a sport psychologist, coach and former professional cricketer. In this article he shows us the importance of memory in performance.

Here is a fact that will shock you if you coach or play cricket: Coaches can accurately remember only 40% of performance.

Explains why analysis is important in the modern sports environment, doesn't it?

You can't improve if you can't remember, so in a moment I am going to explain how to deal with this issue. But first, it's important to understand whywe only remember 40%.

According to research by Daniel Kahneman, we are all prone two phenomenons; 'duration neglect' and 'peak end rule'.


Duration neglect refers to the memory of an experience where we focus on snapshots of crucial, or end experiences, otherwise known as the peak end rule. Most people are unaware of their own duration neglect or that peak end rule experiences directly affect their evaluations.

Research has revealed that if the end pain of a medical procedure is high then the patient will remember this snapshot and think that the procedure was painful, regardless of how low the pain may have been earlier.

How does this relate to cricket coaching?

The power of the preceding delivery

As performance is in small scheduled intervals, the peak end rule plays a role in coach feedback. For example, when a bowler bowls a poor delivery a the end of a match or net session. Peak end rule suggests that the feedback provided by the coach would be more negative as his or her view of the performance is influenced by the timing of the bad ball.

If this takes place the coach has fallen for the duration neglect as he or she has failed to take into account the duration of good performance prior to the last minutes.

There is no doubt that our memory is not accurate. This supports the use of performance analysis at competition and training. Statistics are more objective and catalogued throughout the event. Using this objective measure allows coaches to provide feedback that is accurate and reflects the whole experience not just that last mistake.

Stop your memory playing tricks

So, how can cricket coaches reduce our athlete duration neglect or peak end rule?

  • Use performance analysis, like PitchVision, which is based on statistics that are important to successful performance.
  • Use a performance log to catalogue what happens during training as well as competition, to provide informed feedback.
  • Record the duration of the good, as well as bad points.
  • Reflect on performance throughout the session or competition.
  • Finish training sessions in a positive manner. This plays on the peak end rule to help the athlete to have a positive memory of the session.

Read more from Adam Kelly on his blog.


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Cricket Show S4 Episode 43: Cultural Architect

Mark Garaway teaches David Hinchliffe and Burners a new term on the show this week: Cultural architect. It's related to Jesse Ryder's return to first-class cricket and the lessons we can learn from his example.

But that's just the tip of the cricketing iceberg. The guest is Scott Boswell, famous for getting the yips at Lord's, but now a well-respected coach. Plus the questions section includes queries from the listeners about flawed players coaching and trying to keep wicket, open the batting and be captain.

Listen to the show for all the fun.




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This is show number 236.

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8 Captaincy Tips to Coach the Next Strauss, Smith and Vaughan

In this series of articles I aim to support you and your captains (potential and existing) through the transition from player into effective team leader.

Leadership is a choice; the importance of self-awareness, their personal style and how that may impact on others is the key to success.

Let's look at those factors in more detail.

Android and iOS Pick: BATEX Batting App

Cricket is getting smarter than ever.

Smart-phones are tiny computers in your pocket. Tablets are full powered computers in your bag. Smart-nets are popping up everywhere.


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: 279
Date: 2013-11-01