Pitchvision Academy


This may be the greatest ever newsletter.

I don't say that lightly, but have a look at the quality this week: Graham Gooch gives us a batting drill, Mark Garaway shows us how to make a difference in 10 seconds, Dan Helesfay improves bowling technique and we learn something new from a study about bat speed.

What more can you want?

Nothing is the answer! So dig in and enjoy this one's a belter.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Batting Drill from Graham Gooch

This video is from the Graham Gooch Runmaker onine coaching course videos available on PitchVision Academy. For more details, click here.

Graham Gooch has coached a lot of players to batting success. He has a compleet system that locks together to create runmakers. This video is an example of just one of the simple drills he uses in runmaking.

Don't be deceived by the simplicity of this drill. There are a number of benefits to grooving this shot, even for professional batsmen like Graham Napier (who is pictured doing the drill). The obvious thought is to lock in good technique, but it is also good for developing balance and footwork dynamically. Plus, for players looking to work on bat speed, the movement towards the ball encourages a higher backlift and faster downswing to really make the ball fly.

Here is the drill:


If you can't see it, click here.

The trick is to use drills like this as "filler" to reinforce good habits during nets. The player can have some net time, do some drills then go back into nets to see how well the habits stick.

For more drills and details on the runmaker system, make sure you subscribe to the PitchVision Academy newsletter so you can find out when the course is available.

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Turn a Wicket into a Golden Coaching Moment

Last week we looked at the importance of "golden moments" in coaching. There are a heap of individual moments for a coach and a player in a game of cricket. I am going to focus on one such opportunity today: When a wicket falls.

The time when I see most coach-player interaction directly ahead of performance comes when a wicket falls. The incoming batter on puts on their helmet and gloves before standing up and walking to the wicket.

You may get 10 seconds to add value to a players performance.

What considerations should we take to shape our interactions?


Know your player

Have you noticed how some players like to sit quietly and watch the game whilst others love the interactions with fellow team mates ahead of their innings? These players display behaviours that may give us an insight into what they need in any "golden moment" coaching opportunity.

The "introverted player" is often working things out for themselves as they watch. Their quiet exterior belies the activity that is occurring in their heads.

Often, these guys need a simple question, something like,

"How do you see the game?".

The question will provide the stimulus for the externalisation of their inner thoughts.

On the other hand, the "chatterer" appears to lack focus, yet this isn't always the case.

They often have more plans than the quieter player. In this case, the role of the coach is to limit those to a manageable number thus increasing clarity when the player gets to the wicket:

"What is the key thing for you to focus on at the outset of the innings?"

In many cases, the best communication between player and coach can be non-verbal.

Because you have worked hard with the players ahead of game day, often, the work has been done, the plans are clear and all the player is looking for from the coach is either a trusting glance, a slight hand gesture or in some cases no interaction at all.

Some of the best coaching in this golden moment is doing nothing at all.

Duncan Fletcher was a master at choosing the right approach for each player and each moment. His preference was to do or say nothing unless he could add value. If Fletch was to intervene in a golden moment then it would be so minimal yet so impactful.

As England coach in the 2000s, his relationship with star players like Trescothick, Vaughan, Collingwood and Strauss was so strong that a squeeze of the shoulder or a little glance would provide the extra confidence or clarity that each player required walking to the wicket.

Use your golden moment wisely

To judge what is required accurately and appropriately is ultimately the art of the coaching; the art of the golden moment. Fletcher was a master at this and with lots of practice, you can become masterful too.

So before you act, think about how best to add value to that moment. Think about what the player needs. And remember that doing nothing can sometimes be the best way of adding value.

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Video: Bowling Technique Coaching Session with PitchVision

Here's a treat for you: a coaching session filmed at Millfield School with Level 3 Coach, Dan Helesfay.

Dan seamlessly combines the old and new technical coaching with data gathered using PitchVision video and ball tracking technology. He helps a young cricketer with the technical issues of shoulder rotation and "falling away" and makes some improvements in accuracy and speed.

It's rare we get to see top coaches at work, but thanks to the guys at Millfield, we can see how easy it is to integrate the traditional with the new to create effective coaching.

Here's the video:


If you can't see it, click here.

As always, your feedback and questions are welcome: What do you think about using technology to coach technique?

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Cricket Show S6 Episode 7: Watch the Ball?

Sam Lavery, David Hinchliffe and Mark Garaway get stuck into some cricket coaching chat with a discussion on coaching and playing lessons from the World Cup. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to reveal the chat revolves around the Irish.

The questions this week are on watching the ball and bowling an inswinger. The question of watching the ball seems obvious when you bat, but is it? They are a couple of crackers so tune in to get some fresh ideas.

Plus, Garas comes close to revealing his run secret after we go through the guesses including;

Study Finds Bat Speed As Important As Batting Technique

PitchVision Academy has seen a new study that reveals the importance of bat speed on the success of your performance as a batsman. If true, this could change the way you train.

The study - undertaken by friend of PitchVision, James Hughes - compared the bat speed of players at different levels of ability. For accuracy he used a 3D motion tracker. The results after a lot of testing were clear:

Better batsmen always had faster bat speed.


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: 347
Date: 2015-02-20