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We all fail, so it's time to consider failure as a good thing because it teaches you how to succeed in cricket. Find out how to fail better in this week's article.

Plus we talk about playing long innings, drilling, Muhammad Amir and how hard work it is to be talented. It's "thought technologies" all the way down! (Just plainly spoken.)

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Failure is Good: How to Use Your Cricket Mistakes Positively

As a cricketer, success is easy to see: Runs, wickets and victories. If you fail you have done badly. And while winning is the ultimate point, the way to get there is by embracing your failures.


We all fail. Perfection is impossible. What is possible is how you react to the failure. You can learn from your mistakes and become a stronger player because of the failure. In fact, this method is so powerful that really good players build failure into their training deliberately. Rather than avoiding errors, they are embracing it as a way to free themselves from the tyranny of achieving perfection.

After all, you do just as well when you know what not to do as, as when you know what to do.

1. Accept failure as a teacher

So, what do you do when things go wrong? You embrace the troubles because they are telling you something. Mine the information to find out more. It starts by simply asking yourself "what is this experience teaching me?"

It might be something technical - like you are better at driving with your chin down - but it doesn't have to be. It can teach you about how you respond to failure and what you need to do to manage your thoughts and actions around it. It can teach you that you need to be fitter, or more focused, or less stressed. It helps you build a picture of yourself.

Sometimes this can be seen on a video or in stats, sometimes it's softer and more difficult to pin down. Yet at the root of every failure is always a lesson where you can learn about yourself. This is tough because often you want to react to failure by trying to ignore it. You don't want the pain of recalling when things went wrong, so you try hard to let it go. In fact, the time when it is most sore is the time use it. Find that core.

2. Every failure is one closer to success

One way to do this is to see your failures as a stepping stone to success. Every time you do something wrong, you can cross it off your list of possible options until there is only one thing left.

Think about when you bat in nets. Let's say you are getting out to spinners because you are stuck in the crease and you want to use your feet to get to the pitch of the ball. During that session, every spinner you face, every ball they bowl, is a chance for you to experiment. It's going to be hard. There's going to be a lot of failure as you run past a few and hit a few up in the air.

But that's the point. You do that for three session in a row and you start to learn which balls you can run towards and which ones you can play on the crease. You get better despite failing. You get better because of failing.

3. Testing is the authority

Of course, you can only train this way if everyone accepts that testing is the ultimate indicator of success. It's tempting to go in to sessions, blaze the ball around, knock stumps over and strut around like a peacock (or feel awful about yourself when you don't do well).

Instead, go in with the aim to learn something.

Maybe you learn what works for you. Maybe you learn what doesn't work for you. Let the test be the indicator and not the outcome.

To do that, it must become super-easy to test things. Using tools like PitchVision, you can let the practice run as normal, run your experiments and review the results.

4. Crazy ideas are good

It's not just tips and secrets from the stars that feed into your experimentation. Once you stop seeking the perfect answer, you start seeking the crazy ones. And that's good. Maybe you'll find something unique that has a huge influence on your game.

Take the time to regularly brainstorm ideas. Try and come up with some plans, techniques or methods that are so crazy they might just work. Then go about testing them. This is your chance to play around until you get the outcomes you want. And if it fails?

You already know the answer to that.

5. Get a stats geek

Some argue that stats are ruining the magic of cricket. The simple joys of the game are removed when everything is counted. Yet, some people love digging into the numbers.

So let them.

Having a stats geek on hand to give you useful information when you need it is invaluable. Help them gather it where you can and let them do the review and analysis (unless you are really into it yourself). They will love doing it and you will get some insights you can chose to use or ignore.

With this culture of experimentation, review and embracing failure you'll take your team - and yourself - to new levels.

Let me know what you are working on.

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Quickly Become a Better Cricketer with a Review Drill

Train hard; get better. Do your drills. It's a simple mantra, but it's missing a crucial part of the process of practice to improve. Cricketing technique, tactics and mental strength require one more "drill".


By thinking of review as a drill, and reflecting on your practice and games, you will get better faster. You will even get better between practice sessions. It works by giving you a feedback loop that has been proven to boost skills faster than anything else. It gives direction to your training, encouragement that things are working and confidence that you can repeat the right skill at the right time.

Yet, most of us don't bother much with it.


We go to training, hit a few balls and walk away satisfied. Another thought is not given until the next session. Or even worse, some people subconsciously review and let a negative peak end rule cloud their confidence. That road only leads to worse performance, not better.

The solution is as simple as a review drill.

What happened and why did it happen?

So, once your session or game has finished, your "drill" is to find out what happened. For most of us, this is done from memory, but be careful how much you rely on what you remember. It's unreliable. To make sure, use whatever tools you have:

  • Video
  • PitchVision
  • Coach/trusted observer feedback
  • Stats (for example, from the scorebook)

It's vital to get as wide a picture as possible. You might prefer looking at the stats, or you might prefer talking things through with someone you trust. The key point is to have a realistic view on how well things went, what you were strong on and what areas need to be improved.

You can also come up with some ideas as to why things happened the way they did. You know yourself, and you know what you need to give yourself the best chance of success. If you prepared perfectly and things still went badly, what else was happening? If you felt things didnt go right in the session, what could be the reason behind it?

How long will this take?

That's up to you. Some will be satisfied with a five minute chat with the coach, others will go heavy into the stats. Take your pick, but always take that step back and longer view.

How do you move forward?

You're almost done with your review at this point, but before you finish, always make a plan of how to move forward.

Lets say you got bogged down in a one day game and couldn't score quickly. You realise this is because you were not hitting the gaps. What's your plan to improve this area? Simply having a net is not enough, so you need to adapt somehow. Is middle practice the way forward?

Try and be detailed here. It's not enough just to think that you need to hit the gaps. You also need to think what conditions were in place for gap hitting; the bowler, the pitch and the ball age. Will these things be the same the next game, or will you practice hard hitting the gaps against a spinner on a slow pitch only to find you are facing a pace attack on a quick wicket the next game?

And while you are planning, think about how you can turn your strength into a super strength. Are you excellent at bowling yorkers at the death? How about working on getting even more accurate, or putting on a yard of pace with it too?

Make review a drill you can't miss

You'll notice this process is not about beating yourself up after a bad game. It's an extension of every net session and every game. It's just another drill to do. It should be something you do without question because it has such a powerful effect on your game.

Maybe you write it down (journalling is a brilliant way to make your thoughts clear), maybe you chat it through with a coach. Maybe you sit at a laptop and review every ball. With PitchVision it's possible. However you do it, your review drill should leave you feeling clear and focused about how to improve your weaknesses and boost your strengths.

And, when you do it enough, you'll also be boosting your average far more than any other drill you can do.

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Cricket Show S6 Episode 38: Bowl as Fast as Muhammad Amir

David Hinchliffe is joined by Sam Lavery and Mark Garaway. The team talk about the pace of a young Mohammad Amir and if it's possible for anyone to bowl with wheels at a young age.

There are also ways to deal with cricketing frustrations and a summary of how to appoach in season fitness training if you are going ot nets five days a week.


Listen to the show for the details.

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:

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Just click the "play" button at the top of the show notes.

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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.


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Dropping Anchor: How to Play A Long Innings

Good batsman turn starts into hundreds. Anyone can get out early in an innings, but once your eye is in your goal is to get a big score.

Yet how many players do you see getting a good-looking 30 before falling to a loose shot? The art of the long innings is waning in the crash-bash Twenty20 world.

Let's start turning the tide right now.

Choosing the right shots for the situation

Quick Tip: Talent is Hard Work

Isn't it strange that naturally talented cricketers always talk about how hard they work?


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: 379
Date: 2015-10-02