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Like them or love them, you can't ignore Apple and their influence on cricket. This week we look at the newest devices and how you can use them.

Plus, we examine the post-season review, and look at some of the more tocuhy-feely aspects of the game through recovery methods and developing natural talent, even if you feel like you don't have any.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

What the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 Mean for Cricket

There is no doubt that technology is an important part of cricket, even at grass-roots level. That means when Apple make a product announcement, players and coaches interested in getting an edge should listen to what they have to say.

Yesterday, Apple announced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

Look at the track record of technology in cricket, and Apple in particular, and you can see it's ever growing influence. Coaches and scorers have iPads, players use iPhones and other smart phones as the most portable of computers. Add to this innovations like bowling machines and PitchVision and you see that technology is already a huge part of cricket.

So, the important question is; do these new devices signal a change in the landscape, and if so how can you tap into their power?


New iPhone, it's better but not earth shattering yet

The iPhone 6 has a bigger screen and is thinner, but the real power stays the same. Like previous models, it's the computer and camera you always have with you.

You already know the benefits of a smart-phone for cricket:

  • Personal organisation (calendars, maps, notes).
  • Communication (calls, emails, messages).
  • Videoing your net sessions and getting game footage.

None of this is specific to the iPhone 6 of course. You can do them with older models or Android and Windows Phone devices. Although the camera is better than ever and certainly worth considering simply for that reason, especially if you are going to film a lot of nets.

Overall though if you don't have one, it's a good time to get any smart phone. I would ague the iPhone is the premier experience for cricket use, and that new apps for iOS 8 will make it even better over time, but not everyone agrees. However if you already have one there's no huge reason to upgrade unless there is a pressing need.

iPhone 6 Plus: A better tool for coaches than the iPad

For me as a coach, the iPhone 6 Plus is more interesting.

Essentially it's a huge iPhone (with a 5.5" screen and longer battery life). What that means is that it could replace the iPad for a lot of coaching roles. To have a single device that can do everything you want in a smart phone and a tablet is appealing financially and reduces the amount of stuff you have to carry with you.

The screen is big enough that you can film a player in practice and give instant feedback on technical points, do on the fly analysis with one of the coaching apps, to run BATEX or to show a field to a player when having a tactical net.

It's comfortable for reading and note-taking, both of which are a pain on the smaller iPhone screen. Plus, technically speaking, knocks the iPad camera into a cocked hat. The camera gives you 1080p video recording at up to 240fps in slow motion. That's really, really good quality for spotting revs on the ball and other aspects of recording.

I can see more and more coaches switch away from the iPad to the iPhone Plus, using it as a small tablet or mounting it on a tripod and using it as the main camera for better instant feedback and deliberate practice.

Apple Watch, a step towards the quantified cricketer

Finally, Apple came out with their first real "wearable". It's a watch that does all kinds of exciting stuff, but it's the tracking that is interesting to cricketers.

We have discussed the "measured life" before as a tool for developing your game. There is no doubt that recording and analysing data is an important and proven way to improve your sleep, fitness and cricket skills. the Apple Watch takes a step towards making this easy.

The problem has always been that getting the data is a royal pain that takes a combination of technical knowledge and patience. The Apple Watch solves this by just being on your wrist and tracking as you go. It know when you are moving and can track how much you sit, how much you walk and how hard you train.

These are overall health benefits, so while certainly moving more and training harder will improve your fitness there are no direct tracking methods for cricket-specifics yet. I guess you could wear it during a match to see things like the distance you cover and the changes in your heart rate. You might spot some ways to improve your fitness training as a result.

It certainly puts more power to have your data in your hands. That's a great thing, but I'm not sure it's quite there as a tool for better cricket. Plus, it's certainly not unique in doing these things.

Keep "watching" though... (sorry I couldn't resist).

Now it's over to you; what do you feel about technology in cricket and Apple stuff in particular?

Are you lusting over any of these devices, something different or do you prefer cones, chalk and the good old days?

Leave a comment and join the conversation.

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Cricket Show S5 Episode 35: Indian Bullseye

Mark Garaway is on a campaign for mixing up formats at club and school level. More two day games is his mantra, so David Hinchliffe and Sam Lavery grill the Director of Coaching at Millfield School about his ideas.

The team also help a player who is threatened with being dropped because of his slingly bowling action. Seems unfair? We give him a solution that will keep everyone happy. Plus, we help a guy with a deadline come back from injury before his season starts. The pressure is on to be ready, but can it be done in time?

Listen now!


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:

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This is show number 278.

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This 5 Step Post-Season Review Creates Independent Thinking Cricketers

I love the post-season time of year. players are reflective about the season just gone and, in the UK, we see this as a hugely important development phase leading up to Christmas.

As always, we start with a good review that puts things into a stark light. The immediate period at the end of a season is the perfect time to do this. Here is how I go about it with my players.

Our post season review meetings have 5 elements to them:


  1. Review: What did I learn last season? How did I perform? What are my super strengths? What are my development areas?
  2. Identify Long Term Goal. Test debut by 2019, be top wicket taker 3 years running by 2018.
  3. Identify Medium Term Goal: What are my goals for next season?
  4. Identify Short Term Goal: These goals are split into two phases. Firstly, a Repair Phase (in the UK this is October to December) and then a Preparation Phase (January to April).
  5. Identify Potential Barriers: What are the things that can get in the way of me reaching their goals?

This is a vital phase of the process as you can get into tough areas here. If the player has a history of slacking from their S&C work during the summer then this can be discussed at this point to prevent re-occurrence. If the player is known for "beating themselves up" mentally when they fail, to the detriment of future performance, then this can be addressed.

Your role as coach is to open up conversation, get the player to be honest and ask them to commit their potential barriers to paper.

This process often leads on to excellent conversations about strategies to prevent history repeating itself. And that's a great thing.

The role of the coach: Detail, specifics, detail

One of the most important roles for a coach when players are setting their goals through this process is to get the player to dig down into levels of detail.

My boss, Olympic Hockey Gold Medalist David Faulkner, has a saying which is "the devil is in the detail" and it's one that I apply when setting and reviewing goals and targets.

Detailed goals and targets act as a roadmap and/or guide for coaches and players alike. They tell us if we are on track, if we are ahead of schedule or if we need to apply our time towards a specific development area.

I often find myself asking questions starting with "how", "why", "which", "what" or "when". Here are some examples:

Player: "I want to be able to hit the gaps better"

Coach: "Which gaps specifically? What type of bowler? Which shots would you like to develop in order to hit that gap off of that specific bowler?"

Player: "One of my goals is to learn to play the sweep shot this winter?"

Coach: "Why do you want to develop that shot? What benefit will this give you over what you do presently? How can you develop this shot outside of our sessions in order to accelerate your learning and make this shot an natural option? When would you like to be in a position to play this shot effectively in scenario sessions?"

Player: "I want to stop squaring up on the back foot vs pace"

Coach: "I understand what you are wanting to stop yet what exactly is it your aiming to achieve?"

Player: "I want to be able to stay sideways for longer against the bouncing ball on the back foot?"

Coach: "Have you thought about how we can do this, what drills can we use to develop this body shape? What drill progressions can we use to test the robustness of your new technique on the back foot?"

When we get into detail, we establish a checklist that the player can tick off as he or she moves along the skill development road.

The player also feels responsible for their own development rather than leaving it to the coach to come up with all the ideas. This develops self reliance and the ability to take control of their destiny. That you as coach become a consultant, rather than a "crutch" for players to lean on.

Use this detailed goal setting approach to develop your own self reliant, independent thinking cricketers.

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Can You Break the Shackles of Your Limited Cricket Talents?

Does natural talent define your playing format?

Ed Smith argues that it does. In this article he say ODI batting is harder because it requires more natural talent. Test skills can be learned, ODI skills need something that can't be taught and a touch of genius.

Taking a Break: When Less Cricket is Better

Cricket is awesome. More cricket is more awesome, right?


If you want to be a cricketer, there is a balance to be had between playing, practising and doing something else completely. We know from the top level that burnout is a very real issue.

And it can happen to you as well.

Here is how you can use the power of rest and recovery to become a more powerful player.


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: 324
Date: 2014-09-12