Pitchvision Academy


"Chucking" or throwing is a controversial issue, but if you do it you need to find a way to stop. So, this week Sam Lavery guides you through an easy answer to your woes.

Plus, we discuss the power of listening, the extra power of measuring to improve and quality vs. quantity of practice.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Here's A Simple Way to Coach Away an Illegal Action

Sam Lavery tackles the thorny cricket subject of "chucking".

For many, working with fast bowlers can be daunting. While the knowledge that’s out there is gradually improving, the challenge of working with a bowler who may or may not have developed a “chuck” is a step too far for some.

Let's see if we can help with that.

 So why does a bowler chuck a ball?

There are a few different types of elbow extension:

  1. The deliberate chuck is really hard to do. There are a few players out there who can gain a few bonus miles per hour but if the majority of us tried it we’d come out worse off.
  2. The arm withdraws without fully straightening. This one is fairly rare, but I remember growing up watching a team mate of mine do this day in day out. He was largely a batsman / net bowler, so it slipped under the radar, but his method meant that as he withdrew his bowling arm behind him, pointing back towards the sight screen it retaining some notable bend which only straightened as the arm came over the top.
  3. The most common cause of chucking a ball in my experience (75%+) is misalignment of the upper body. Rather than the front arm extending to the target, and the bowling arm withdrawing directly back towards the sight screen, you’ll see the front arm extending towards 3rd man or gully and subsequently the bowling arm withdrawing back towards mid-on. This means bowling circle is effectively operating on the wrong plane. With the easiest way for a bowlers body to deal with it and project the ball towards the target being a little bend and extension at the elbow.

How can we reduce the likelihood of a bowler chucking the ball?

With the most common cause being poor upper body alignment, let me focus on that.

Redirecting the plane of the bowling arm, and the circle it makes as it comes over the top can be done in a couple of ways.

To decide how help, look down and see what the feet are doing.

If their feet are well aligned to the target then you’re going to have to make an intervention based on their upper body.

If their feet are slightly open, pointing towards the slip cordon, then we may be able to adjust how their feet line up without tinkering with the top half, but making an impact on where it point.

Correcting the upper body

Essentially what we’re striving to do is realign the upper body so that the extension of both arms is to and from the target as they separate from the load up position. The easiest way to do this is place the focus on the front arm extension.

The more the front arm can be realigned towards the target the more you’ll start to see the angle of the shoulders change slightly, and subsequently the bowling arm should withdraw in a straighter line - back towards the sight screen rather than mid-on.

A simple high volume reverse chaining exercise is a great way to start building this new upper body movement. However if you introduce some external resistance you may be able to keep the drills a little more engaging, as well as possible accelerating the process. Tying a big rubber band around the waist is a great way to introduce this resistance.

Correcting the lower body

While adapting lower body movement is often tricky, simple taking a slightly angled approach can line up the feet, and subsequently hips, shoulders and finally the arms can be a quick fix that redirects the plane of the bowling circle getting the arms out of the mid-on to 3rd man angle. Hopefully aligning them towards the target a little better, and removing the need for the flick of the elbow to get the ball heading towards the target.

If you have access to PitchVision, documenting the progression a bowlers makes can be really valuable. But if you don’t have access to a full PV system, why not use the PV video analysis app? It's a really powerful way to assess the progress being made, ball by ball, session by session.

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Use Twenty20 Shots to Compare Quality and Quantity of Practice

It's Twenty20 time. Brendan McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle: entertaining crowds with some colossal hitting.

Naturally, all the club and youth cricketers want to copy their heroes. It's been great to see people try to move around the crease and open up space on either side of the ground.


However, it's vital that we understand how the best players do it before we start to blindly mimic our heroes out in the middle.

This week we are going to look at different ways of opening up space on the legside using two methods deployed by two world class operators.

Meet AB and Jos

The best at doing this is AB de Villiers. He is a master at moving inside the line of the ball and playing full bloodied sweeps - for six - over the fine leg to square leg boundary.

Jos Buttler is also a world class exponent of this skill.

Do they do it the same?

There are some similarities; both move early, are balanced at point of contact and have great levels of success.

There are also some differences. let's explore both methods, experiment and have some fun.

Call for the Buttler

Jos moves early and faces the bowler almost square on, he is looking to ramp the ball up over the inner circle fine leg fielder rather than hit a full bloodied sweep.

Jos flexes his legs and gets as close to the ball as he can before flipping it over his left shoulder for four and six. He is looking to use the pace of the ball and re-direct it.

  1. Jos' method works brilliantly for him and is worth a try against tennis balls to start with to see if you can connect with the way he does it.
  2. If this feels like a good option then progress to having harder balls throw at you.
  3. Feel comfortable there and then try it against appropriate net bowlers.

Master that and then take it into a game when the circumstances are aligned appropriately.

This layering effect builds both confidence and competence. It may take time, but it's worth it.

The AB-way

AB has a slightly different method.

He also moves early but his intention is to access the backward square leg position from balls outside the line of his stumps.

He steps across and retains a more sideways on position.

This is a different approach to Buttlers chest on ramp version.

AB is looking to sweep rather than ramp and needs to have a more sideways-on starting position to create rotation, to establish a swing and from a bio-mechanical perspective, generate torque.

If we throw our front side away and become too chest on too early then the body is already uncoiled, the rotation of the body is lost.

The net result is that the batswing tends to come through too early or with limited bat-lag. This limits bat-speed and therefore, power.

AB moves into a relatively sideways-on and a very low position to play a pretty conventional spinners sweep to a 80+mph delivery.

His outcomes are fantastic and well viewed on YouTube. He played lots of these in his World Record ODI Ton vs the West Indies before the 2015 World Cup. It's worth a look.

Should players follow AB's practice around this shot?

You can do, but for this you will need to have the same level of trust in your game as AB does.

The reason for this is that AB is a reluctant practicer of this shot!

He only really does it in nets occasionally or hits a couple in front of TV crews when doing masterclasses.

AB openly speaks about trusting his skills and ability to execute this shot rather than practising them relentlessly as a Jos Buttler would do.

This isn't a blanket approach as he is a good trainer. But he understands the physical risks in getting this shot wrong but backs his judgement of a situation and his skill to do it in games without having practised the shot endlessly.

Some people are "repetitive practiser" and others are "quality practiser". Which one are you?

Give both legside space opening methods a go and see which one is a better fit. If you find that both are easy then let me know and I will become your agent!

Discuss this article with other subscribers

Cricket Show S7 Episode 24: The Growth Mindset

Sam Lavery, Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe talk cricket coaching in the weekly get-together. The idea of the "growth mindset" is discussed for cricket first of all. It's a powerful tool for players and coaches who are set in on success.


Then listener's questions are discussed in detail, including tips on bowling faster and a thought experiment about weather a Sidearm ball thrower can replace a bowler.

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
  • +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.


Discuss this article with other subscribers

Khyati Gulani: Listening is a Vital Skill

This is a guest article Khyati Gulani. Khyati is an ex-cricketer now coaching state and academy cricket in Delhi.

A good listener is always successful in life because they never repeat what they know, rather they learn new things every time. Yet, We have often seen players going to their coaches and keep talking rather than listening.

Become a Cricketer: The Next Great Players will Lead a Measured Life

There is a quiet trend happening around the world: one that is about to become a revolution. This trend will be instrumental in creating the next generation of cricketers. Right now exactly the time to get ahead if you have ambitions to become a cricketer.


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.


Want Coaching?

Send to a Friend

Do you have a friend or team mate who would be interested in this newsletter? Just hit "forward" in your email program and send it on.

If you received this email from a friend and would like to get subsequent issues, you can subscribe here.


PitchVision Academy

irresistable force vs. immovable object

Thank you for subscribing to PitchVision Academy.
Read more at www.pitchvision.com


To unsubscribe eMail us with the subject "UNSUBSCRIBE (your email)"
Issue: 418
Date: 2016-07-01