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PitchVision Cricket Technology Improve Your Performance: Training Logs Get Fit For Cricket


This week the conversation has been all about how technology can help you improve your cricket. Things have moved up a notch With PitchVision Academy launching and giving you access to data analysis and coaching that only the best have been able to get to before.

Of course, you are still only as good as the effort you put in to using these tools. However, they allow you to direct your efforts the right way. That's the topic of this week's main article. We also look in detail at the role of technology in cricket coaching, analyse a batters technique via video and John Hurley has another instalment of his preparation series: This time on recovery.

Have a great weekend,


David Hinchliffe

2 simple ways to act on coaching advice

In another article we talked a bit about how PitchVision Academy courses can make you a better cricketer. But real improvement is not just about having the coaching advice; it's about acting on it: Action always trumps information.

Here are 2 simple ways you can start acting and start improving.

1. Start recording your results

It's often said that you can't improve what you don't measure. For people trying to lose weight this is simple: they check the scales and adjust how much they eat or exercises accordingly. Cricketers don't have an equivalent of scales.

Or at least they didn't until the PitchVision system became available. As you probably already know, PitchVision is a 'hawkeye' style system for cricket clubs, coaches, sports centres, cricketers and cricket playing schools. It gives you detailed feedback on a wide range of cricket performance measures.

How can this help? Let's look at the example of a fast bowler (although batters and fielders can also benefit).

This bowler is a member of PitchVision Academy. He has access to the PitchVision hardware through his cricket club and his school. He has also enrolled on Ian Pont's fast bowling course (which he got at a discount rate thanks to his Academy membership card).

Here is how he makes improvements to his speed and accuracy:

  1. He tests himself on his club PitchVision system and finds out his bowling speed and accuracy.
  2. He views this on PitchVision Academy and checks out the drills on Ian's course.
  3. He attends his next coaching session and starts to learn the professional tricks for pace and accuracy that Ian has taught him.
  4. He tests his speed and accuracy again, this time at his school. However because he is an Academy member he can compare results from both systems on the Academy website.

If he has improved he can continue to do the same thing. If he has seen no change he can contact Ian through the course and ask his advice as to why.

Suddenly he has gone from hoping he will get faster and more accurate to knowing exactly how to do it and get feedback on if it is working. How could he fail to improve?

2. Keep yourself motivated

The first method is all about feedback and response: Scientific and rational. This second method covers the more emotional side of trying to improve.

It's been proven time and time again that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you surround yourself with supportive people. If every one of your friends and family were a cricketer, how much easier would it be to find someone to have a net with?

On the days where you don't feel motivated to train, or do the drills and exercises on an Academy course you need like-minded people to turn to for social support. We all get days like that sometimes.

PitchVision Academy membership helps you do this, even if the people in your life are not as supportive as you hope they might be. You get an exclusive weekly newsletter with tips and advice that appear nowhere else. You can compete in the PitchVision World League to see how you compare with players all over the world. If your coach has PitchVision they can email you your feedback so you have things to work on right away.

You even get to brandish your PV Academy membership card and Auto-ID tag with pride: You are in the club. Knowing there are people all over the world in the same position as you helps keep you motivated when all else is failing.

You PV card also gives you access to another form of motivation. Sport psychology call it 'extrinsic' and it's also been proven to work in studies. You exploit it like this:

  1. You tell yourself if you improve your batting strike rate by 10% you will buy a new bat
  2. You test your strike rate using the PitchVision system at your club or sports centre
  3. You practice hard, possibly working on the technical drills in Gary Palmer's drives course.
  4. You retest, finding your strike rate has gone up by 11%
  5. You use your PV membership card to buy a brand new cricket bat at a discount rate from a PV approved retailer.
  6. You feel great!

PitchVision Academy is all about action

So from courses to measuring results to extrinsic motivation, PitchVision Academy is all about the most important part of improving your game: action.

Until now this kind of laser focus preparation could only be exploited by international cricketers with expensive systems and top level coaches. Now you can act in the same way at a fraction of the cost. It will give you the edge when you try to make it to the next level.

Image credits: PitchVision Academy, xiaming


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Now you can prove them wrong with PitchVision Academy coaching courses

They said you couldn't succeed. Then you found world class coaching to make the most of your talent and proved them all wrong.

That has been the dream of players (and even their coaches). The problem is that world class coaches are hard to find and expensive to employ.

Until now.

We are pleased to announce the world's most comprehensive online cricket coaching site: PitchVision Academy.

What's the story behind this world first?

A few months ago we asked you the readers of miCricketCoach what you want to help make you a better player. The overwhelming response was simple: access to high quality coaching and support.

But miCricketCoach readers live all over the world and can't afford to pay a top class coach the vast sums it takes to have personal contact even once a week.

We decided to fill the gap with an interactive online Academy and set to work building it.

To make things easier to understand we have put together a short video on the benefits of taking the Acdemy courses.



Access to elite coaching advice

PitchVision Academy Courses are unique because, for the first time, leading coaches have agreed to reveal their techniques and drills. This is the stuff they usually charge the big money to professional sides. Now you can know it too.

Our coaching panel includes:
  • Derek Randall (Former Test cricketer and current coach at Bedford School)
  • Ian Pont (Author of "The Fast Bowler's Bible" and ECB National Skill Sets Coach)
  • Gary Palmer (Elite batting coach with experience of several international and county sides)
  • Rob Ahmun (Strength and Conditioning coach for Glamorgan CCC)

These are the coaches who have been there. They have coached players of every level from beginner to international. They have tried all the techniques out there, and failed more times that they care to remember. They know for sure what doesn't work and by extension, they know exactly what DOES work.

Now they want to pass their knowledge on to you.

If you paid these coaches for personal sessions they would charge you hundreds of pounds (even more in dollars). PitchVision Academy Courses give you lifetime access to the coaches and their resources for a fraction of the cost of hiring them.

How does it work?

Each course is on a different topic and gives you everything you need to achieve your potential in that area.

The number of course will grow as time goes on. As of today we have available:

  • How to use mental training to boost your game
  • Improve your batting
  • How to play perfect on, off and straight drives
  • Fielding: The Derek Randall Way
  • How to bowl faster
  • Strength and conditioning for cricket at all levels

All you do is enrol on the course and you are given instant lifetime access to all the content on that course. Each course varies but can include: videos, animated drills, downloadable audio, written articles, interactive presentations and printable worksheets.

If a course has extra content added to it in future, you get access to all the updates.

Each course also has a forum for talking to the coaches and other Academy course members and help you keep on track towards you aims.

The courses also tie in perfectly with the PitchVision hardware: the 'hawkeye' style system that gives you detailed feedback on your performance. As you learn on the courses you can use PitchVision to track your improvements be it bowling speed, strike rate or anything else.

Membership of the Academy gives you access to your personal PitchVision data, discounts on the courses and on cricket equipment and even more exclusive content.

What if you need extra support?

Everyone needs support. You are twice as likely to succeed with people around you helping you every step of the way. Academy Courses have been designed to give you just that help.

You can interact with other Academy Course members through the exclusive forums and the coaches will be on hand to answer your questions as they come up. All included in the price and for as many questions you want answered.

Can't you get the same from YouTube or a coaching book?

You could hunt around the web for a few two minute clips and buy a book. You may even motivate yourself enough to follow the tips you discover.

Or you could enrol on a course and get all the answers right in front of you, including drills and methods that have never been put down in a cricket book or video before. This is stuff that will never get out of date like a book can. This is stuff from coaches who have been producing cricketers for years. This is a step-by-step guide to actually doing it for yourself.

PitchVision Academy Courses have also been designed to fit your personal learning style. The trouble with a book is you have to read it. Academy shows you how to do things in different ways depending on how you learn. In many ways it's the next step up from miCricketCoach (which will still be here, and still remain free).

There is nothing like PitchVision Academy if you are serious about improving your game.

Enroll now

PitchVision Academy launches today. Head over to the courses page now and be one of the first to enrol.

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Case study update: Technical analysis

This article is part of the miCricketCoach 2009 Case Study. To stay up to date with their progress get the free newsletter.

This update will focus on a technical analysis of Naz batting in the nets. Naz has sent in a video of him batting at Lords' indoor school. Here is what I have discovered.


As you can see from the first shot, his setup looks solid, but there are a couple of problems with it that I have highlighted. First, his eyes are not quite level. More importantly, his front elbow and shoulder is pointing towards mid off meaning he is picking his bat up over leg stump. I suspect it is because he trusts his off side shots more than the leg side and is looking to hit through the off side even in his setup.

This can lead to poor footwork as it is hard to get forward or properly back and across from this initial position.

The good news is that most of the time he readjusts both his head position and backlift as he steps forward to the ball on the off stump as you can see in the next picture:


When playing shots Naz has a smaller hitting zone than he could have because of the way he lines up his bat. With pitched up balls on or just outside the off stump he lines up well as we have seen. When the ball is back of a length his backswing moves out to gulley and comes down and an angle meaning his timing has to be spot on to middle it:

I'm guessing he slices a lot of those shots and gets caught at gulley or cover point, especially as he has not moved his back foot across (a result of his closed setup).

For leg side balls he does the same thing. Here he can get away with it more as you need to be more open to hit through the leg side, especially the flick off the legs to a half volley. However it's still a little too wide for me here, he could tighten that up a bit to give the option of an on drive


The final thing to mention is Naz's shape as he drives. Take a look at these pictures of him driving:

Here the face and toe of the bat end up pointing in a different direction to where the ball was supposed to be hit. This is because he is closing the face of the bat and risking missing the drive or getting a leading edge.

The reason for this is that he is not getting forward enough and losing the shape of his arms in his downswing. Instead of letting his top hand and and high elbow control the shot he is trying to generate power by snapping his wrists through the ball. The toe of the bat ends up pointing down the white line instead of the yellow line in the picture below:

He would hit it a lot better by leaning into the shot more and swinging the bat in a smooth motion like a golf swing rather than an ice hockey slap.

Drills to improve technical errors

The key for me is to build up from a straight drive, front and back foot. This will teach Naz to line himself and his bat from his initial stance to moving to the ball. I'm going to ask Naz to do some drills with a tennis ball initially, moving on to throwdowns or a bowling machine when he is feeling more comfortable.

The idea is to 'shape' Naz to make some minor changes. There is nothing major about his technique that is flawed; he just could do better by lining up right and keeping his shape through the shot.


If you want to learn everything there is to know about technique, check out Gary Palmer's interactive coaching courses. Gary is a coach with over 20 years experience teaching players to become first class cricketers. For the first time he has put his drills online, only at PitchVision Academy.


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'The Map' Part 5: How to recover quickly from one game to the next

Your post-match routine is another area where developing simple routines can be beneficial.

At the end of any contest there is the desire to relax, celebrate perhaps, reflect on performances and identify ‘what went wrong’.

In order to make this period as productive as possible you can employ:

Physical Recovery Routines

Ask the Readers: Can technology improve coaching?

You may have noticed we have had a big focus this week on technology in cricket coaching. Now I want to know your opinions:

Can technology help cricketers become better?

Leave a comment at the bottom of this article and let us know your thoughts on all things technology.


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: 33
Date: 2009-02-13