Pitchvision Academy


The cricket news is filled with attacking batting at the moment, so we take a look at some modern ways to score quickly. From using your feet to spinners, through "intent" and analysis from the coach.

It's all here if you want to get on with it.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

How to Practice Using Your Feet to Spin

Iain Brunnschweiler, top coach, has a great tip for those wanted to get better against playing spin.

If you want to be effective against spinners, it's really important that you are confident enough to use your feet and get down the wicket. Most spin bowlers know if they are bowling at a player who is confident in their footwork and decision-making, their margin for error becomes very small indeed.

One common fault I see is running down the wicket, shutting your eyes and trying to bash it out of the park! It's easy to end up missing it altogether and getting out stumped, bowled or caught. The reality is that there is no law that says you have to smash the ball.

Moving out is about putting the pressure back onto the spinner, and potentially turning his best ball into a ball that you can score from. It's just as valid to pick up a single from this tactic as it is to hit a boundary. You are showing you are in control and the spinner has no weapons against your scoring.

In order to do this, you need to be able to come down the wicket in a quick yet balanced manner, so that you can make a further decision of whether to attack or defend the ball once you have moved.

Experiment in the nets

This is a skill that takes practice, so have a go at using your feet to the spinners every single ball in a chosen practice or number of practices. Make it your focus and work on nothing else.

Challenge yourself to only hit the ball on the ground. By doing this you will start to feel that you have a better understanding of which balls you are getting close enough to for an attacking shot, and which balls you have to defend. You can still look to score by defending the ball into a gap; be positive!

Naturally, you will make some mistakes along the way. It's a big ask to be perfect the first time you try a skill on for size. Over time, you will get better. You will find that once you look to come down every ball, you start to judge when it is a bit shorter and you can push back onto your back foot and allow you to score once the ball has turned.

How long will it take you to develop the skill?

That's a tough question as everyone learns at different rates. Some people are comfortable with footwork and can pick it up in a session. Other players have to overcome a natural instinct to either stay rooted in the crease, or charge and try and put it into orbit. Don't panic if you are struggling, keep a note of how many you get right and how many you misjudge. You will see that, over time, your performance will improve even if you start from a avery low point.

You can then go into a match situation with more skill and more confidence in your ability to get down the wicket and get out of trouble if you need it.

For more advice, videos, drills and fun, check out Inspired Cricket on PitchVision Academy

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How to Use Hypnosis to Become Swashbuckling Madmen in Limited Overs Cricket

I saw a tweet this morning relating to the 4th ODI between England and NZ in the unbelievable ODI series.

This is a question that I have heard spoken about a lot. England, yes England, have scored 300+ four games on the trot and chased 350 in 44 overs!

I think that hypnosis does have something to do with it.

When words are used effectively and consistently, whether it be as a single word or a term, they start to shift behaviour. As behaviour shifts so does performance. Words are hypnotic.

A most basic example is to say the word "yawn" in a very slow fashion 3 times and then see how that makes the body feel. Interestingly, watch anyone who listened to you say that simple word 3 times and see how they react. Scientific experiments have shown that bystanders will report back feelings of lethargy and fatigue with some even physically yawning.

So what does this mean to cricket?

Pitchvision Academy's own Graham Gooch did many things to make England’s batting line up the most effective in Test Cricket between 2009-12. His drills and approaches were great. But his most significant contribution to that group was a term containing two words:

"Daddy Hundreds"

Kevin Pietersen (227), Alistair Cook (294), Johnathan Trott (226) & Ian Bell (235) all scored their highest test scores during Gooch's period as Batting Coach. He changed the attitude towards Test match hundreds with one simple term. Previously, players were interested in getting the name on the honours board at each ground. They then became obsessed about the size of the number that appeared next to their name.

Kicking out old school terminology

For years, England have talked about the "accumulation phase" in the middle of an ODI. Even in the recent World Cup, England were happy to tick along at four or five an over from overs 20 through to 50, so that Jos Buttler and company could swing freely at the end of the innings.

Meanwhile, the best teams had ditched this long before the World Cup. A change of plan and a change of language was required.

Interim Coach, Paul Farbrace has used the word "intent" relentlessly in his team meetings and his press conferences We have heard it in player interviews throughout the series. It was lovely to hear him congratulate the team on getting bowled out in 45.2 overs for 302. This new intent to keep the foot on the gas was always going to end with the team being bowled out at some stage. It’s part of the learning process.

The easy thing for a coach to do was to call for a regressive shift in approach.

Farby called for more intent!

Interestingly, England have averaged 154 runs between over 20-40 overs this series. NZ are hitting 130. Is it not now a launchpad phase or kick on phase instead?

Send in your suggestions so we can change our language to change performance.

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PitchVision Coach of the Year Award: At the Heart of World-Class Cricket

PitchVision and Cricket South Africa have teamed up to find the best coaches in the country, and give them the recognition they deserve.

The PitchVision Coach of the Year Award is the pinnacle of coaching achievement, providing an incredible incentive to coaches to develop excellent teams and individuals, from every point on the cricket compass. The award is open to grass-roots coaches as well as those at Franchise and semi-professional level, making it an inclusive award that rewards excellence in every cricket environment.

Coaches are assessed by a measurement system suitable to their teams, and everyone gets a performance review to develop the coaches skills from year-to-year. This makes it a long term programme that is building a legacy of excellent coaches and players long into the future.

It was quickly clear that the Coach of the Year Award was a programme that PitchVision had to partner. PitchVision exists to help coaches and players at every level of the game develop effectively. With coaching tools like PV/ONE and PV/CLUB alongside a comprehensive series of online coaching videos from experts like JP Duminy, Nathan Bracken and Kevin Pietersen, everything is available to the budding coach of the year.

So, from now on you are going to see a lot more about Coach of the Year, and how our ambitious coaches are using PitchVision to battle their way into nomination and eventual crowning.

Make sure you subscribe to the PitchVision Academy newsletter for the whole story as it unfolds.

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Cricket Show S6 Episode 24: Attacking Club Cricket

With a transformation in one day batting adopted by professional teams, Mark Garaway, David Hinchliffe and Sam Lavery discuss how much your club or school team can follow. Do better pitches really make such a huge difference to scores? Get some tips in the show.

Plus, there is advice on how to take more wickets when you are having a lean season with the ball, and ways to play off the back foot when you fear getting out lbw.

Download the show and get involved.

The Role of a Modern Cricket Coach: Analyse

This article about the cricket coach as analyst is the second in a series about club and school coaching in the modern day. For the rest of the series, get the free PitchVision newsletter. For part one, click here.

Can a coach also be an analyst?

In fact, analysis has been at the core of coaching since it was invented.


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: 364
Date: 2015-06-19