Pitchvision Academy


There is some tough love in this edition, with a discussion about the best ways to make it as a cricketer by showing your the mistakes most budding professionals make. Alongside this, Mark Garaway asks you to rethink your coaching language by coaching the intention.

Plus, we have a couple of guest authors talk us through some fitness related topics: Sam Lavery talks warming up while Andy Perkins of Guernsey Cricket prevents shoulder injuries.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Become a Cricketer: 5 Ways to Get Ignored and Overlooked


Do you want to be a cricketer? Then read this all the way though.

It's time for some tough love.

We get many, many comments and emails every day from hopeful players. The passion is clear however, the methods used are guaranteed to mean that you will be overlooked and never make you dreams come true. There is a negative pattern that is increasing in volume. You want our help, we want to give it but we can't because you are setting yourself up to be ignored.

You are better than that.

So here are those pitfalls.


1. Ask for "one chance"

Before you send that email, pick up the phone or submit that comment, think for a moment. Asking the internet - even a highly specific part of the internet like PitchVision Academy - for a chance is useless. No one will reply. No one can reply.

Most comments we get here are far too vague. We don't know what chance you want, or where you want it. Most of all, we don't know why we should give you that chance. We don't know who you are and we have no first hand experience of your skills and achievements. At best your comment will just be another in the sea of similar comments. At worst, someone unkind will be sarcastic.

Get Attention Tip: Think about how much someone can help you, then ask a specific question.

2. Post your personal details on the internet

Nobody is going to call you up and ask for your address so we can send you a first-class contract, cab to the airport and plane ticket. Especially if the only thing you have asked for is "one chance". Posting personal information does nothing to add to your case as a cricketer. That means it's is a waste of your time.

Not only that, it's unsafe. We have had people post every last detail about themselves even down to passport number. Someone could steal your identity. Remember that forums can be read publicly. If you must leave a phone number, send it privately.

Get Attention Tip: Make contact directly via email with a specific question.

3. Make unproven claims about your ability

Every other bowler online can bowl at 160kph or rip leg breaks with perfect accuracy. Frankly, this is a lie. We know it's a lie because we get hard data from PitchVision systems. It's just not possible that there are so many amazing players lying undiscovered.

Be realistic. Unless you have had your speed clocked, it's very difficult to work it out yourself. You can judge your bowling speed, accuracy and skill by how your peers bat against you. Not by how fast it looks when you bowl a tennis ball. So don't make wild claims. Even if they were true (which they are not) then you can't prove it.

Get Attention Tip: Accurately describe your strengths and weaknesses. If you have access to video, post it for analysis.

4. Complain about how you have no control

I'll grant you that this is a tough one. There are circumstances where people are not given a fair go. But corrupt selection happens everywhere. Complaining about the problem won't stop it. However, runs and wickets are impossible to ignore forever. Perhaps you need to score 500 more runs than the person who's uncle is a regional selector. Then do it.

It's frustrating when you are treated unfairly, but you just have to handle it. There is little you can do to change it, so focus on the stuff you can do. Like score runs or take wickets.

Get Attention Tip: Focus on what you can do. There's always something.

5. Compare yourself to a highly successful international cricketer

"I have a similar action to Jadeja"

No. You don't.

Now there is nothing wrong with trying to emulate great players. This is a sensible method to learn the right and wrong way to play for yourself. However, comparing yourself to a top player does not make you more like a top player, it makes you pale in comparison.

If you are using a technical similarity to highlight something in a specific question then a comparison is fine. However, that never happens. Instead, we hear vague comparisons that help neither the question asker or the question askee.

If in doubt, simple do not compare yourself to any player. You are your own person with your own idiosyncrasies.

Get Attention Tip: If you are talking technique a picture or video paints a thousand words.

This may seem like an attack, but it's really a reality check.

The truth is that we want to help every cricketer who stops by at PitchVision Academy.

We share your passion. That's why we make the newsletter, have a huge podcast archive, have made videos from top players and even offer bookings with coaches in your area. But we can only do so much. The real person who can give you a chance is closer than you think; it's you.

Good luck, and if you need a hand on the way, we are right here. As always.

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Coach the Intention

I spent some time in Switzerland last week with two guys who have mastered coaching people. I call them my 'Yodas' after the wise teacher in Star Wars.

One of their major sayings is:

"coach the intention; rather than the action".

What happens to people when they are coached to concentrate on specific (and often multiple) movements and actions?

Do people become more fluent or more 'clunky' in their movements?

Do you see the body move as one (like in a David Gower back foot drive or a KP clip through midwicket) or do we see the player move in separate parts, screw up their face and speak in words of discomfort?

I know the look of a player who I have given actions too as I have done that most of my career, it's a common look, trust me!

So over the last year or so, as I have connected more with the approaches of my two 'Yodas' and noticed a shift in each players movement patterns. I see less screwed up faces and sense that the players are developing faster than at any other time in my coaching lifetime.

So how does it work?


This morning, I worked with a lad who is a district cricketer and has stayed at this representative level for the last 3 years.

He came to the session wanting to be able to move more efficiently/effectively to front foot balls of different line. He felt more comfortable when the ball was at him and less in control when the ball was outside the line of his stumps.

Conventionally, I would have spoken about ways to move.

Today, I asked Calum to have the intention to get his leading shoulder as close to the ball as possible.

That's it, no further instruction, no justification, nothing.

My assistant coach fed the bowling machine with the instruction to vary swing, line, pace and length between yorker and a good length. Calum moved stunningly to each and every ball, hitting shots that he has never even imagined. In fact, he had 3 moments when he stopped because he was trying to work out how on earth it happened!

I then asked him how it felt at the end of each series of balls. Stopped short of getting him to analyse why he was doing well and increased the variability of deliver (increased the challenge). Callum continued to move well and adapt to the variety of deliveries that he faced.

He was moving as one, without thought.

If we think we die

My two 'Yodas' would say that if you coach the intention, then the body will find a solution itself: It's what humans do and have done throughout human evolution. If the intention is there, the incredible machine that is the brain and body will adapt and perform.

These guys have a saying "if we think, we die!"

Often, through our best intentions, we coach only action or movement and makes people consciously think and prevents our us from being able to go to the next level of performance.

So, can we coach the intention first and then see what happens?

A few intention based coaching examples:


  • The intention is to make the ball bounce before it hits the net
  • The intention is to only hit into the spin (and see how the body adapts)
  • The intention is to only hit with the spin (and see how the body adapts)

Spin bowling

The intention is to make the ball go over the line of a string - placed above eye level and 2/3rds the way down the net - and bounce before the batter.

Can you create your own coaching intentions and sit back and see what happens?

Let me know.

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 46: Longer Than Sachin

The team say goodbye to Sachin by talking about new research into learning technique that the Little Master may have used without even realising it.

Plus we look at some reali life issues that the listeners are going through: A problem with getting to training sessions and how to practice with an under 15 club cricket team.


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:

+44 (0)203 239 7543

+61 (02) 8005 7925


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This is show number 239.

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3 Supringly Simple Exercises Proven to Prevent Cricket Shoulder Injury

This is a guest article from Andy Perkins, Strength and Conditioning Coach for Guernsey Cricket

One of the big plus points in the last season with Guernsey was that no injuries were sustained in competitions.

This was in no small part to a concerted effort to protect the shoulder. Today I want to share the causes of shoulder injuries to help you avoid similar niggles. There will be no scientific jargon just straight forward English with practical suggestions you can take and use straight away.

Turning on the Lights: A Fresh Look at Cricket Warming Up

Sam Lavery is PitchVision Academy's new monthly columnist: A coach with wide experience in the UK, Sam is Academy Director at Portsmouth Grammar School as well as a coach at Hampshire CCC and Burridge CC.

Why exactly do we warm up?

I have coached at quite a few clubs in recent years and as I've travelled around the cricket circuit I see warm ups have improved no end with more action, excitement, and diversity.


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: 282
Date: 2013-11-22