Pitchvision Academy


Graham Gooch talks about the lessons you can take from some of his best innings in the video this week. Mark Garaway has a story about a young cricketer. Sam Lavery helps all those coaches with the problem of too many players to work with. It's just another awesome newsletter!

As if that wasn't enough, we also teach you how to be relaxed and confident while "pushing the envelope" at the same time.


Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Video: Graham Gooch on Big Scores and Effective Batting

In this video Graham Gooch talks about the lessons we can all learn from some of his big scores when he played: His record 333 against India in 1990, and his favourite innings - 154 against the West Indies on a difficult wicket.

Watch the video to get tips and advice on producing innings of the same value to your team:


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

For more batting advice, tips and drills from Graham Gooch, get Runmaker, his online coaching course from PitchVision Academy.

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What is Cricket Talent?

What is Talent? It's obvious, right?

At the outset of my coaching career, I was asked by a good friend to assist him with a team that he had just taken on. The organisation that he was working for was making the transition from being run by committed volunteers to becoming more professional. Keith had to move things forward whilst being politically savvy.

We came across a very impressive 15 year old batter. He was brave, got behind the ball, had a simple method that looked transferable higher up the levels yet he could hardly hit the ball off the square.


Other attributes included a capacity to work hard and a good cricket brain.

Keith had to persuade the other selectors to pick this player despite the fact that he would rarely pierce the field. There were other players in the squad who hit harder and the other selectors wanted these guys to play.

To me, it was a classic case of "Results based selection" vs "Talent identification and player development selection".

It was also threw up the question of "What is talent?"

Keith eventually wore down the other selectors and the player was selected. He scored a few runs that week without setting the world on fire.

Crossing paths

As a 20 year old, the same lad scored a wonderful 111 against a team that I was coaching. He had developed well physically and lost none of the psychological trademarks that impressed Keith and I when he was a schoolboy.

I felt that Keith's persistence when arguing for this young player to be selected 5 years previously was well and truly vindicated.

A year later, I was coaching in a different environment and the now 21 year old lad was called up into the squad as a late replacement for a senior player.

It was my first match in my new role and I was nervous, who wouldn't be?

The very scary Head Coach came up to me on the eve of the match and said

"Young Garaway, I hear that you know this lad pretty well. Is he good enough to play tomorrow?"

A cold bead of sweat went down my back, I thought quickly, took a deep breath and said:

"I can't tell you if he is technically good enough as this is my first match at this level. But what I know is that he has got plenty of character, ticker (pointing to my chest) and is cricket intelligent"

"In that case, he plays"

said the scary head coach as he walked away from me. There were a few more beads of sweat running down my back at this point let me tell you!

The following days

I lived every ball that the young player batted in that match. Fortunately, he batted 303 balls in that match for 164 runs. He had a great start at this new level and I was off the hook!

What were those environments?

  • 15 Year old player: England U15s coached by Keith Tomlins. A top man and fortunately good at persuasion.
  • 20 year old player: 1st Class Cricket
  • 21 year old player: Test Match vs India in Nagpur, 2006. The Scary head coach was Duncan Fletcher.

Where is he now?

On 30th May 2015, the same player became England's top Test match run scorer of all time. Two days later he became the Youngest ever player to score 9000 Test runs, beating Sachin Tendulkar by 94 days to the feat.

What does it mean to us?

If you are have a selection position around young players then please ask yourself the following questions before making your decisions:

  1. What is talent?
  2. Winning vs talent identification: what's more important to me?
  3. What is the best decision for the individual? Sometimes this can be non-selection, like Trott on West Indies tour for example).

On Saturday I tuned into the radio in the car to hear Cooky reach that massive landmark at the tender age of 30.

My 6 year old turned to me and asked,

"why are your eyes watering Daddy?"

It was a privilege to be a very tiny part of that journey Cooky.

Congrats Kiddo.

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Cricket Show S6 Episode 22: The Secret Coach

Sam Lavery, Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe discuss Gary Palmer's coaching of Alastair Cook and what it means for the ECB coaching system. Does having a "secret" coach really add up to a failure of the system?

Plus, the team talk about how to hit back of a length balls outside off stump, and dealing with the thorny issue of being a fast bowler who is wayward. It's a classic problem but the answer is all in the show.

Is there a better cricketing way to spend half an hour? No!


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 313.

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Beat This Practice Paradox to Become a Cricketer

The best way to become a better cricketer is to train in an way that is comfortable, but also challenges you to improve.

Is it possible to achieve both these aims at the same time?

Turn Chaotic Nets into Performance Sessions with Just One Coach

How can one man coach a whole club?

This question is one that many a coach has been confronted with over the years. You've just been offered a senior coaching role at a new club. With visions of one-to-one discussions with batters, technical drills for bowlers, ongoing assessments and fitness development programs, your creative brain is firing.

Soon after, reality hits.

You’re coaching all four teams. They all train during the same two hour session once a week. Many will come and go at different times, and of course they all have a world of different issues they want to work on.

Oh, and you're on your own.

No assistant, no helpers, and no parents who you used to call upon when you were working with the juniors.

Don’t despair, there are still a few ways for you to make your sessions productive as long as you and your players can work to some simple guidelines.


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: 362
Date: 2015-06-05