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From Perth to Somerset and back this week!

The newsletter has article on T20, coaching drills, bowling faster and improving talent by hard work. It's another belter from around the world!

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The Latest Ways to Bowl Faster

Every bowler benefits from a few extra klicks on the gun. Research into bowling pace has moved on a bit since we last talked about it, so it’s time for an update.


But first a quick note, improving your bowling pace is mostly about your action. If you have a terrible action, none of these tips below will help you much.

You need to master Ian Pont’s four tent pegs before the ideas below will give you the edge.

Master those cricket basics!

OK, let’s get into the latest ideas on fast bowling.

Run in faster

This one is simple and remarkably effective. Just run up faster. You put more energy into the ball and it comes out quicker.

Most recently, this was used to instant effect by Stuart Broad under the advice of Steffan Jones. Broad found his rhythm again during the BBL and bowled well. But it’s not just about one off tales. ECB research has also backed this up, finding a direct relationship between approach speed and pace from the hand.

When cricketers try this trick, the most common mistake is to tear in like your hair is on fire and lose your action trying to heave the ball down at 150kph. Speed of approach improves but you lose all that new energy somewhere else. So, maintain that tight action to see things get better instantly.

Change your line

The line you bowl makes a difference to your pace.


This is a new discovery in baseball called “perceived velocity”. It works just as well in cricket too. The idea is simple; the further the ball is to the off side, the slower it seems. The closer to leg stump line, the faster it seems to the batsman.

This is enough to upset a batsman’s timing, especially in situations where they are going for big hits. You can use it to your advantage any time.

If you are bowling an off stump line flat out at, say, 70mph (decent club level pace), a ball at leg stump will feel a few mph quicker to the batsman and feel “on them”.

This is especially true if you can get the ball to move off the pitch, or late in the air (only starting to swing after traveling 6–7 yards in the air) when the batsman has less time to react so feels like the ball is quicker.

It’s not really bowling any faster, but it sure feels like it when you use a late swinging leg stump yorker or well-directed bouncer.

There is more research to be done in this area for cricket, but you can use it right now to look faster.

Bowl some bouncers

Speaking of bouncers, one of the best ways to learn how it feels to go through your action hard enough for more pace is to bowl a few bumpers.

You might not be quick enough to bowl a real bouncer on the pitches you play, but it doesn’t matter either way. Practice the method of bowling bouncers - without a batsman - and learn just how hard and fast you can go and still bowl straight.

One of the most common issues I see in bowlers is the desire to “put the ball” instead of bowling through the pitch. They want accuracy and they sacrifice technique and pace to get it. But when you bowl a bumper you have to bowl it into the ground as hard as you can. It shows you what you can do while maintaining a strong action.

When you have done a bit of bouncer practice and know how it feels to really try and bowl fast, go back to orthodox bowling but now focus on smashing the stumps as hard as you can. You hate those stumps and you want the coach to complain you are costing the club money by breaking so many.

Take the bouncer attitude to every ball.


  • Everyone can benefit from bowling faster
  • Action is most important
  • Run in faster
  • Use perceived velocity to your advantage
  • Bowl every ball like it’s a bouncer, even if you don’t bowl bouncers

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Intention Coaching Leads to High-Level Cricket Understanding

Millfield school’s junior batting programme for Year 9 (13–14 year old cricketers) is focused on the fundamentals of movement, balance and how we can best generate power and ball speed off the bat.


It’s a series of great sessions geared on teaching the players the benefits of:


  • Alignment.
  • Stability.
  • Body Shape and Weight Transfer for different shot types and situations.
  • How to develop an effective kinetic chain when striking the ball.

Here is a lesson that I ran with Adam this morning. It was set up to simulate playing spin using the bowling machine to deliver a consistent feeds into a good length. The batters are asked to use their feet to get to the pitch of the ball.

1. Do it your way

I initially gave Adam the intention of coming down the wicket every ball and for him to show me what his existing method looked like.

His first round was typical of what I see from a young player who has either rarely used his feet or just run down the wicket with no method.

He ran straight down the pitch and played the ball with his only hands and arms. His line of movement was consistent irrespective of the line of incoming ball.

It was good to see his starting point as it informed my next coaching intention.

2. Assess and move toward the line

We chatted about the benefit of alignment in 3 ways.

  1. Firstly, the alignment of terms of his line of movement into contact.
  2. Secondly, where Adam was is in relation to the ball at point of contact.
  3. And lastly, the alignment of his bat path through the incoming ball and in the direction of his intended target area.

As soon as Adam got to grips with these concepts of alignment, he started to feel and communicate when he had moved appropriately to the ball and when he had not (you may hear that in the film). As his awareness increased over the next two rounds, so did his effectiveness at hitting the ball more cleanly.

Because his alignment of movement was becoming more appropriate, he found that his stability at ball contact was developing.

There is still a little way to go, but Adam’s understanding of alignment and stability is growing quickly.

3. Understand trajectory: Hitting under the wind and “flop” shots

Adam is a keen golfer, so I asked him what he did when faced with a shot into a strong wind.

He replied that he would shift more of his weight onto his front foot to keep the ball low. I then asked how he would play a higher flighted shot over an obstacle to land it soft next to the pin when he has no green. He responded with a shift in body weight towards his back foot and simulated his flop shot swing.

Hitting along the ground after moving down the pitch is no different to hitting under the wind on a blustery day.

A shift in weight will help elicit a different response in terms of ball trajectory off of the bat.

Adam loved the golfing analogy and went about his business hitting balls over the top of the inner ring fielders and then hitting balls along the ground with different shifts in his weight distribution and body shape.

There were no imaginary fielders in this intention, there were no dismissals. This intention was purely about Adam experimenting with his body shape, alignment and stability in order to find out what took the ball along the ground and what lifted the ball cleanly in the air with power.

I wanted Adam to experience success without fearing failure.

We can start increasing task difficultly, responsibility and consequence gradually once the skill is ready to be challenged.

Let’s go there next.

4. One to win off the last ball: All the field are up saving one.

To increase the pressure on each ball we chose to play 21 one-ball games.

The game was one to win off one ball. All the fielders are positioned to save the single. The intention is to hit the ball cleanly over the top of the fielders to win the game. Each ball constitutes a match.

We set the bar at 13 wins out of 21 one-ball games as the target.

13 or more wins for Adam and I pick the balls up at the end of the round. 12 or less wins and its Adams job to clean the net.

Adam ended up winning 13/8 after stringing together five consecutive “wins” in the last five balls. His alignment and stability developed as the pressure increased. Very impressive. It’s a simple yet great game that can be replicated against bobble feeds and throw downs as well as against Merlyn.

5. Hit different pockets

The intention for the first three balls was to hit the mid on gap irrespective of where it bounces using alignment principles.

Adam shifted his alignment to reach different lines of balls and completed three successful outcomes in his first three balls.

The intention for the next three balls was to hit the extra cover gap irrespective of where it bounced using alignment principles.

This one was more challenging and took Adam 10 balls to work out. Eventually he worked out that he simply needed to move to a similar distance from the ball as all the other shots in the practice but with a more angled alignment which allowed him to hit directly through the ball in the direction of extra-cover. His body shape and stability started to look a bit like Kohli or AB against off spin.

Once he had linked two consecutive balls, there was no stopping him and I let him finish the session hitting balls over or through extra cover. Shouts of “yeah” rang out around the bubble with each stunning contact.


All of this took us 45 minutes. It was the first session of three that we have on the topic.

Interestingly, after our session, Adam reviewed the footage. He suggested that we start at Intention 2 in our next session with him starting from a guard that gets his eyes over middle stump rather than leg stump.

He feels that this will make his line of movement less acute when getting to balls on off stump or outside and that this will help his stability at ball contact.

How about that for review and analysis from a 13 year old!

The video confirms that he is spot on with his analysis. The intentions approach made the concepts of stability and alignment comprehensible. With his understanding intact, he can then take control of his own actions and the shape of the next session.

We will repeat these intentions in our next session, finishing with Intention 4 (Adam loves to compete).

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Cricket Show S8 Episode 3: Run Outs

Sam Lavery, Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe talk about playing and coaching cricket at every level. Run outs are first on the agenda as the team talk about an article that has a new idea to simplify them.

Then there are listener's questions. This week's quries are about anxiety when batting and fitness for a teenage fast 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:

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.


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Become a Talented Cricketer with Three Step Resilience

You don’t get to be a talented cricketer unless you have resilience.

Lessons from Perth Scorchers Big Bash Triumph

Perth Scorchers are the most successful Big Bash team. They won the 2016–17 tournament with a canter in the final.

Is there anything we can take from their approach?


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: 448
Date: 2017-02-03