Pitchvision Academy


What do the following cricket topics have in common: Confidence, wicketkeeping drills, first-class coaches, bowling actions and mental toughness?

They are all covered in this week's newsletter.

The mental side of playing is challenged with Graham Gooch talking confidence and nine questions that can boost your toughness. Mark Garaway talks wicketkeeping drills, having great fun on the way. And, the podcast team talk about the importance of playing first-class cricket to being a good coach.

Have a great weekend.

David Hinchliffe

Graham Gooch on Batting with Confidence

Confidence is slippery. You want it but how do you stop all those negative thoughts? In this video Graham Gooch shares his methods for breaking through doubt and walking to the crease with confidence:

If you can't see the video above, click here.

For more batting advice, and a complete method for coaching batters, visit the Graham Gooch Runmaker page on PitchVision Academy.

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Wicketkeeper Standing Back Drill: Relevant, Functional and Challenging

The challenge with any wicket-keeping drill is to make it relevant, functional and challenging.

Last week, we were doing a standing back drill using the Katchet board. I was throwing the ball onto the board as hard as I could to challenge the two keepers. The keepers are both County Age Group players and in one of the cases, an England International.

It soon became apparent that both were not being challenge sufficiently by the drill and that my shoulder was getting warmer and warmer. We needed to solve a problem.

That solution was the Sidearm. Since a recent Sam Lavery article on coaching kit, I have noticed more players have purchased Sidearms. It's great to see sessions where players are practising batting in pairs against the sidearm. It’s a brilliant piece of kit.

I decided to ease my shoulder by attempting to throw the ball onto the Katchet using a Sidearm. The results were awesome.

Here's my view,


  • The ball came out with flames on it, a complete contrast to my medium “dobbers” of the previous round.
  • I could deliver the ball with good technique rather than forcing it onto the Katchet board. It didn’t hurt anymore.
  • When I missed the board the ball still carried to the keepers. This slower ball was often dying on the way to them and this meant that the keeper needed to adjust to the different pace and trajectory. When I failed with my intended delivery I was still able to challenge the keepers
  • I was having huge amounts of fun! I think this may come across in the video?

The player's view,

  • Both the keepers that were in the session were instantly challenged by the increased pace through the air and the speed of deflection from the Katchet board.
  • They both reported that the ball came through a bigger variety of heights which meant that they had to make decisions about their catching technique and their movement to the incoming ball.
  • The motion of me throwing onto the board with a little run up allowed them to get into their “Z” or ready position with the same timings as they would in a game with real bowlers.
  • It became fun and simulated standing so far back that they pictured themselves in a Test Match environment keeping to their nation’s quickest bowler.
  • They became competitive with each other yet also hugely supportive of each other. Both keepers realised that the task difficulty of taking balls deflecting quickly at pace was significant.

The outcomes were,

  • Both players took catches that would be repeated again and again on TV if they happened in a game.
  • One of them now uses this drill as part of his pre-game preparation. Only for 12 balls, yet he reports that he has moved better and quicker in the matches in the last week.
  • They both want to do the drill next week in out keeping session
  • It has given me a new “delivery skills” focus. And you know how passionate I am about delivery skills.
  • It’s inspired my fellow coaches within the programme to become good at hitting the board from close range. Competition in the office is rife!

Combine your kit to challenge any keeper or any ability. And have a lot of fun in the process.

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Cricket Show S6 Episode 20: He Never Played First-Class

It's often assumed that to be a good coach you have to have playing experience at that level. the team of David Hinchliffe, Makr Garaway and Sam Lavery discuss how important it is to be a first-class player to be a first class coach.

Plus, there are questions about improving your play outside off stump, and a a finisher who is working on the ramp shot and is having a problem. What advice will the team have for the youngster?

Listen to the show for half an hour of cricket fun.


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

How to Listen to the Show

Just click the "play" button at the top of the article.

Or, the show comes out every Friday and you can listen to it on your computer, smart phone or tablet every week automatically. Simply choose your favourite podcast player and do a search for the show:

Or subscribe manually with the RSS feed. Right click here, copy the link and paste it into the appropriate place for adding new feeds in your podcast subscription software or RSS reader.

You can also download this show onto your computer by clicking the play button at the top of the article, or clicking on the mp3 to download.


This is show number 311.

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Let's Stop Being Afraid of the Bowling Action and Start Getting Better

Let's all stop being afraid of bowling actions.

Coaches are increasingly afraid of coaching because of a culture of fear in cricket. Bowlers live in terror of ruining their natural action.

I argue we are all wasting a chance to improve both pace and accuracy. We just need to shake off the fear. You can see it in the media. In this article about James Harris we are told,

9 Questions That Will Reveal and Improve Your Cricket Toughness

Good cricketers are tough in all situations.

You might be on top and in control, or fighting to get out of a jam. The context might change but your ability to fight out stays the same.

Some people are naturals at this mental game: they need no training to stay confident, focused and self-aware. Aside from these genetic freaks, the rest of us need a little more work. Work that no amount of time getting throwdowns or bowling at PitchVision can ever give. Work that happens in your head.

Want the good news?

This work gets real, tangible results in runs and wickets. You don't even need to be at nets, or have anyone to train with. You just need you, and your mind, and some time to think.


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: 360
Date: 2015-05-22