Pitchvision Academy


This week Mark Garaway reveals he main difference between those cricketers that become professionals and those that don't quite make it. It's a cracking read, and not what you might think!

Plus, there are fielding drills, batting tactics and ways to improve your power hitting, even on a budget.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The Brutal Reality of Becoming a Cricketer

Who here has the ambition to become a successful professional cricketer?

Every year at Millfield I ask each of our A Team squads this same question. In each team, I see a minimum of eight to 10 hands shoot up in the air.


I will then inform the players that they are in the right place. Millfield School has historically the most successful transition stats for assisting young, talented youngsters to get into the professional game within the UK independent school sector.

Then the bombshell.

Millfield - on average - helps develop 1.3 professional cricketers per year group. Only one out of every three of those players who earn an initial contract is still earning a living from the game after five years.

This is the brutal reality.

It's highly competitive to get into professional cricket. It's even tougher to try and stay there for any length of time.

Coaching and individual work

Some say you’re only as good as your coaching or as good as your programme. This is complete and utter rubbish.

The main differential between those that don't succeed and those that do is the work the individual do themselves. This is true even as good as our program is at Millfield, as good as the coaches are, as good as the facilities are and as good as the fixture list is.

It comes down to the desire of the individual to do the unseen work which makes the real difference.

To rely solely on the programme and the coaches to get athletes to reach their ultimate goal is complete folly. It takes much more than that. Track the development of every world-class player in the history of the game and you will note how important self-reliance practice has been in their development. Here are a few legendary examples:

  • Don Bradman: with his golf ball, stump and variety of rebounding surfaces around his backyard. Different types of rebounds developed his infamous catching and batting skills.
  • Glenn McGrath: with his self-made PitchVision system against a water butt on a farm in Narromine, New South Wales.
  • Brian Lara: batting against small marbles to sharpen his hand/eye coordination at such a young age.
  • The Waugh twins: batting and bowling against each other in their backyard. Creating games, challenges and competition between their family members.
  • Colin Bland: throwing tennis balls up against the wall, receiving the rebound as if he is fielding at cover point and throwing towards a set of stumps chalked up against the wall.
  • Ian Healy: using a wall and a golf ball to underpin his development as a world-class wicket keeper.

So, my challenge to all the coaches and players this week is to look at the different facets of the game and establish some takeaway self-reliant drills and games. Maybe you can enhance or adjust some of the ideas above. Or ask the players to come up with their own adaptations.

Your players can then work in-between their programmed sessions that you brilliant coaches put together on a weekly basis. These take-away self-reliant drills will enable the player to come back with a better chance of reaching their goals, however lofty they may be.

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Fielding Drills: 4 Stump warm up

This drill is part of the PitchVision Academy fielding drills series, for more in this series click here.

Purpose: To act as a warm up drill that practices every ground fielding skill required in a match. Each stump is a different skill to execute.

Description: The coach (c) rolls the ball out to the first fielder who underarms at the stump. Fielder 2 backs up and throws the ball to the wicketkeeper (w) before running up to the same stump.

W then rolls the ball out for fielder 2 to chase, pickup and throw to fielder 3. Fielder 3 throws the ball on the bounce to fielder 4 who aims to hit the last stump.

This throw is backed up by the final fielder who returns the ball to the coach. Players follow the ball to rotate around the drill.

Below is a graphic breakdown of the drill. If you prefer to see the animated version of the drill click here








To see this drill animated click here

With thanks to Laurie Ward for this drill. If you have a drill you would like us to publish, please get in touch via email. 

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Cricket Show S7 Episode 19: Stretching for Bowlers

Sam Lavery, Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe talk about warming up, especially for fast bowlers. The team then move on to some technical advice for the speedsters. They discuss mixed actions, lateral flexion and hip-shoulder separation.

It's a great week for the bowling geeks!

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:

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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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Improve Your Batting Power on Zero Budget

With the ability to hit fours and sixes becoming important part of our game, helping batsmen find ways generate power takes a higher priority during every coaching session.

Improve Your Batting Against Spin by Changing Length

This is a guest article from Fish Hoek Cricket Club Head Coach, Jamie Rood

I run spin sessions by throwing off spinners to a 5/4 leg side biased field. We have a slip catching and two fielders out at square leg and deep midwicket. Everyone else is in the ring.

In one particular session, I was working with Kegan, an U16 batsman who enjoys working the ball into the leg side and picking it up over mid-wicket. Here's what we did.


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: 413
Date: 2016-05-27