Pitchvision Academy


There are a bunch of great new drills buzzing around this week in the newsletter. We cover power hitting in the "torch drill", fielding stopping and throwing and sand filled balls!

There is also a guest article about translating golf mentality to cricket. It's surprisingly similar!

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Improve Bat Speed and Batting Confidence with the Torch Drill

We had a great question come in on the Cricket Show from Basit, who talked about his lack of confidence to get behind the ball when it's aimed short pitched and at the body. He felt that he was taking too many balls on the body. This often comes from a lack of confidence through a player believing that they have not got the skills to attack or cope with the incoming delivery.

It is then the coaches' responsibility to build both confidence and competence through a series of drills.


One of the drills that I use at the start of the process is this,

Torch drill

The player has underarm feeds coming from the ground up - mirroring the appropriate trajectory - with tennis balls to start with.

The aim for the drill for the first three balls is to position the hands in a dynamic place so that the end of the bat handle acts as a "torch shining it's light" on the height and line of the incoming ball.

The batter aims to let the ball hit the end of the bat handle. This is a great position, as from this position the bat can come through and snap into a pull shot. We do this in the fourth ball of the sequence.

This drill is also used in power hitting contexts in both baseball and cricket. There are lots of videos of baseball players doing this drill to facilitate greater bat lag in their swing. Have a look online.

We use this drill to develop the following things in a short ball context:

  • Create bat lag. Bat Lag increases the range of motion for the bat to go through in the shortest time. Upshot of which is hand speed and bat speed. The quicker the hands, the more confident the player will become at dominating the same ball that they initially perceived as being a threat.
  • Encourage the player to get behind the line of the ball. Using tennis balls initially takes the fear away whilst facilitating the movement towards the ball. This promotes the opposite movement to the "backing away" motion that we see many players players doing against fast bowling.
  • Building confidence. The player soon works out that the closer they get to the line of the ball, the more precision and control they have with both their bat handle-end and normal pull contacts. The confidence that derives from hitting a small ball with an even smaller target areas (bat handle end) is massive and then when the fourth ball comes along they simply let the bat swing through and "BOOM!"

If you have a young player who is backing away from the faster bowlers then teach them this drill as a starting point to developing a robust and confident back foot game.

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Fielding Drills: Introduction to 360 Degree Fielding

This drill is ideal for realistic practice in stopping, catching, staying alert and backing up in the field.

The coach (c) hits the ball (in the air or on the ground) to any fielder then shouts which end the ball should be returned to. If the shy is at the bowlers end the other fielders must back up the throw and return it to the coach.

Variation: Add batters trying to steal runs. Keep score between pairs.


360 Degree Fielding



If you want even more fielding techniques, tactics and animated drills from one of the best fielders in the world, check out Fielding: The Derek Randall Way on PitchVision Academy. Now with live video versions!



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Cricket Show S7 Episode 17: Team Personalities

David Hinchliffe gloats to Mark Garaway and Sam Lavery about six wins from six games this season. But the cricket coaching chat soon turns to team personalities. Can a group of guys have one personality that makes a team, and how can it help you win cricket matches? The discussion is all about some practical ideas.

Then, questions are answered. One from a leg spinne's dad who is wondering about the non-bowling arm, and another from a bowler who wants to know about swimming. Get the details in the show by downloading now!


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: * email * twitter * Facebook * Google+

Or you can call and leave your question on the Academy voice mail:

  • +44 (0)203 239 7543+44 (0)203 239 7543
  • +61 (02) 8005 7925+61 (02) 8005 7925

How to Listen to the Show

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

Or, the show comes out every Friday and you can listen to it on your 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.


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The Golfing Mentality in Cricket

I have a very good friend who has a background in professional golf, having played on the European Tour and Challenge Tour. Oddly, it got me thinking about cricket.

Your Newest Cricket Coaching Tool: Sand and Air Filled Balls

The use of weighted balls in power hitting and pitching in baseball is not a new thing, but it’s so brilliant that even us traditional cricket coaches are now cottoning on to the merits.


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: 411
Date: 2016-05-13