Pitchvision Academy


If you want to take more catches there are a few things you can do and a few drills you can try. Read the newsletter this week to find to more.

Plus, we discuss the "odd man out" in a team, dealing with rain delays and the importance of individuals over techniques to grow.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Here's a Couple of Ways to Take More Catches You May Not Have Thought Of

One of the traits of a strong fielding side is they get more chances than a weaker one. They do this not through better bowling or worse batting but through going for the ball more often and getting there more often.

It's not some unnatural talent given to the few. Anyone can do it.


Here's how

Go for everything

Wiser men than me have said that you catch zero percent of the balls you don't go for. This is true. Even if you do nothing else in this article, simply by going for everything you will take more catches.

It might only be one catch in ten. It might cost you in misfields if you mess up. You're still better off with that one catch than without it. So go for it.

The way you get used to this is to make it a key principle in practice sessions to try and get everything, no matter how tough it seems. This way you test your ability to the extremes and improve. Over time your judgement will get better and you will find yourself in the right place more often.

Good drills to pressure yourself into catching are:

Get faster

The second factor is your athleticism. Judgement is most important, but fitter and faster fielders get to more balls more often too.

So, work on accelerating, changing direction, and being able to jump (both diving and up).

These are longer term goals, but with 2-3 S&C sessions a week, even just as part of cricket training, you will see improvements and will get to more balls.


  1. Good fielders create more chances, and are not afraid of failing so rarely pull out of trying to catch everything.
  2. The more you practice, the better you will get mentally, technically and physically.
  3. The stronger and faster you are, the better a fielder you will be.

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PitchVision: Official Coaching Solutions Partner for Cricket South Africa

PitchVision is now the official Coaching Solutions Partner for Cricket South Africa. Each first-class province across South Africa will be using PitchVision technology within their Provincial Academy, High Performance Structures, and elite player development programmes.

This adds to the existing, one-of a kind, PV Batting Studio at the Cricket South Africa Centre of Excellence in Pretoria. We are extremely pleased to further the relationship with CSA; which already includes sponsorship of the CSA Coach of the Year Award.

Corrie Van Zyl - CSA General Manager of Cricket - said,

"Using technology in the identification and development of talented players within the greater CSA pipeline is an important strategy in producing the next generation of Protea players. Passionate and qualified coaches are instrumental to this process and to provide these coaches with tools like the PV/ONE system can only increase the value they bring to developing our most important resource, namely the players. PitchVision provides coaches with the ultimate cricket specific coaching tool and we are proud to have partnered with this dynamic company."


Cricket South Africa has a history of developing world class cricketers and teams. Their alignment with PV Technology recognises their belief that our products can take their development programmes to the next level. It highlights the value and benefits which professional cricketing organizations see in PV technology and we are excited to work with CSA in the coming years to enhance the learning and development of their cricketers and coaches.

For more details on technology in cricket coaching for every level, contact PitchVision:

  • Neil Fairbairn (United Kingdom, Europe, U.A.E.) +44 (0) 781 364 9054
  • Craig Van Dyk (South Africa) +27 (83) 5568019
  • Shantanu Sah (India) +91 99535 55778






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Work with Players, Not Techniques to Grow Your Cricketers

What do you see when watching a batter in a net or out in the middle?

What do you notice?

These are the key questions that I ask of myself when working with any player for the first time.


Rather than making initial judgements, I look to take in all the visual information that I can over the first 30-45 minutes. Sometimes this process takes much longer than that. Duncan Fletcher would often deliberate for weeks until he even spoke to a new player about their game. I'm not patient enough for that!

But I did learn from the great man and now take a more time to formulate my views so that any interventions I make can be targeted rather than hasty.

I worked with a player for the first time the other day in a two hour session. The things that I noticed were:

  1. Wider than usual stance
  2. Flexion at the knees
  3. Narrow base at point of contact
  4. Legs straightening at point of contact
  5. Late contact
  6. Lack of balance post shot

The lad was struggling to move from a balanced position at point of release into a balanced position at point of contact: A fundamental element within batting technique.

This lack of balance at contact was really prevalent when moving across to balls outside of stump on the front foot.

When I looked at the player from the umpires position I could see that his centre of gravity was just outside the line of his base of support as he played the ball. I noted from the side view that his base at point of contact was a little narrow: His legs were straightening into contact. These two things were limiting his effectiveness.

But why?

What is causing this to happen?

The root cause was the movement phase of the shot.

The player was trying to lead with his head when in fact he is someone who needs to push down on his back foot to initiate he movement forward. Well known players - Alistair Cook, Jos Buttler, Mike Hussey, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle and James Vince - also move in this fashion.

So my first coaching cue was to "push forward" rather than "lead with the head".

The player informed me that he had only ever been taught to lead his movement forward with his head. It’s a great bit of coaching language for some players and not particularly easy for others to do.

Players who present with significant flexion in their legs tend to move quicker and more effectively if they push rather than lean. If we adjust our language to their bodies needs then we can elicit a more positive and coherent movement pattern.

The second thing that I wanted to do was to gain greater balance at ball strike by softening the knees going into and through contact. This helped the player to increase the length of their base and lower their centre of gravity. Effectively, this increased the players stability going into contact.

My coaching cue was “move from a low position at point of release to a low position at point of contact”.

So what happened in the last 20 minutes of the session?

The legs softened, the movement to the ball was far more explosive, the base widened, the contact point was made closer to the body and the balance at ball strike increased significantly.

The player smiled a lot and spoke freely about how the ball felt like it was coming off the bat better. He linked that sensation to his growing feeling of speed and balance. His words, not mine.

What does the future look like?

The player isn't cured, far from it.

It's going to take a lot of repetition and practice to make this movement pattern and landing process an automatic function. But now the player has a set of bespoke tools to think about, practice and master.

I have an arm that will keep throwing balls to groove, challenge and develop the movement and execution of his front foot shots. But more importantly for me, crucial thing is to watch, observe, notice stuff, be patient and then coach the player rather than simply coach a single technique.

This way each player can have their own tools to work with in sessions with you but more importantly, can take the learnings into independent sessions with other cricketers and other coaches.

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Cricket Show S7 Episode 22: Odd Man Out

Mark Garaway is with Sam Lavery and David Hinchliffe. The sticky issue of a good player who has a different outlook to the team is covered on the show. Every team has an odd man out who still does the job on the field. Here's how to deal with it.

How to Stop Rain Getting You Down

How true does this situation sound?

You are ready for a game. You have prepared hard and long. You are keen to put yourself to the test, have some fun and enjoy the challenge. The anticipation is wonderful.

Then it rains.


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: 416
Date: 2016-06-17