Pitchvision Academy


Cricket is great, but you need money to keep a club going, so this week we give you some tips on fund raising through sponsors.

Plus there are drills and tips to boost your game.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Discover How to Get Great Sponsors for Your Cricket Club

Getting sponsors is tough but crucial. Here's how to do it.

 Chances are, your club has no business development. You might have a fund raising committee but they are volunteers. And the big sponsors don't just phone you to ask where to post a cheque.

You need a plan and you need to put it into action.

What can you offer?

Before you start speaking to people, put yourself in the sponsors shoes.

The question most sponsors will ask is: "What's in it for me?"

If you don't know, sponsors are unlikely to do business with you. If you get it right, they will be biting your hand off.

For most clubs, the answer is advertising.

You probably already have some advertising ideas in mind, but these days you have to do more than logos on shirts. Here are some creative ideas:

  • Ground, team or event naming rights.
  • Ads on your website and social media accounts.
  • Ads on your match streaming and highlights.
  • Advertising banners in your nets.

The last three are hugely popular with sponsors because you can see the results. You can tell them how many of your players, members and fans saw the ad. It shows them what they get for their money.

You might ask how seeing a banner in nets can be traceable. Easy. With PitchVision in your nets you are grabbing video for analysis anyway. Publish highlights of net sessions on your social media pages and count the views!

(Plus the coach will be very happy that the PV system is paying for itself with sponsorship money so they can use it!)

How to find potential sponsors

All clubs have a large pool of potential sponsors waiting: the organisations your members work for. Ask and then start making calls with your plan ready to deliver.

You can also tap into other places that members frequent: Where do your members drink regularly? What brewery do these pubs use? Where do you shop?

This list can get very long, very quickly. That's good, because every one has the potential to be a sponsor if you give them the right reasons.

You can even expand your search to big companies. This will take more digging to find the right company and the right contact, but large organisations tend to put public facing contact details out there if you look. Add them to the list.

How to turn potential into money

There is one rule to turning your list into cash.

Be prepared to ask.

Most people are frightened of being told "no" or are worried that asking may affect their relationship.

This is exactly the way you get nothing from your efforts. Instead, think of it as good news you want to tell people. You're giving them exposure, you're helping their bottom line and helping them feel good about supporting local sport!

Have a strong, eye catching proposal to back you up and you will stand out. But, the key is still to just start asking with professionalism and confidence.

Don't fear the rejection.

For every acceptance you are going to get rejected many times over. This is not a personal rejection. Organisations might not have the money, they might not like cricket, you might just get someone in a bad mood that day!

Spend time on contacting people, move on if you get a "no". Start talking to people if you get some interest.

Don't stop there!

This plan will get you more sponsors than you ever get just waiting and hoping. But, don't stop there.

Sponsors are hard to get. Don't lose them by failing to look after them. Honour your side of the agreement. Keep them informed on a regular basis. Give them credit for what they have done for you. Get them involved in what you are doing.

A good sponsor will help a club for many years to come if you treat them right.

Good luck.

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A World Cup Winning Fielding Drill

It was a great honour and privilege to spend the day talking about fielding and batting with many of the World Cup winning England Women’s team.

 Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt and previous World Cup captain, Charlotte Edwards were joined on the ECB Level III coaching course by some excellent Kia Super League coaches as well as Nottinghamshire pairing of Michael Lumb (World T20 Cup winner) and Luke Fletcher.

We had great fun which culminated in three teams competing in the "Authentic Fielding Drill Game".

I first featured this approach a couple of weeks ago on another Level III Course. Each coaching team present their thoughts on their key elements that underpin their fielding coaching and then put together a drill which best represents those philosophies.

Michael Lumb’s group presented brilliantly highlighting the following things as being important within their fielding sessions:

  • Precision and accuracy
  • Speed of ball around the drill
  • Intensity
  • Energy
  • Limiting breakdown in the drill: Keep it flowing

I listed the points on a whiteboard and then the cohort watched Lumby’s group go through their paces.

Here is the drill. It has potential!

My marking scheme

In true Strictly Come Dancing style, I critique each groups thoughts before giving a overall score out of 10 for drill authenticity. Drill authenticity is being true to the groups presented thoughts and philosophies on fielding.

The quality of the drill design was fantastic across all three of the groups. In fact, this one I am showing you didn’t win but is certainly worth a look at!

Luke Fletcher (the smiley one) starts the drill off with an underarm feed into an underarm pick up and throw (fielder one).

A colleague (fielder two) backs up the ball picks up the ball and delivers it onto a catching ramp

Fielder 3 catches the ball off of the ramp and aims for the bowlers end stumps, attempting a direct hit.

Fielder 4 backs the ball up and flicks it into fielder 5, who is approaching the bowlers end stumps from a mid on position. Fielder 5 taps the top of the stumps and then pings the ball back to “Big Fletch” with the catching mit and the drill starts all over again.

Drill Review

I then asked a few questions about the statements on the whiteboard. Focussing initially on Precision and accuracy.

  • Me: “What and how are we measuring accuracy?”
  • Group: Throw accuracy, we could count the number of hits!
  • Me: “So how accurate were we?”
  • Group: 50%!
  • Me: “So, you hit the stumps at Big Fletch’s end half the time eh?”
  • Group: Well... no. We hit it once
  • Me: “Out of how many attempts?”
  • Group: 5?
  • Me: “so that's a 20% accuracy score. Now what about hitting the catching board? How many times did we hit that?”
  • Group: Once? Twice?
  • Me: “It was twice, so that's 40% in terms of accuracy. What about the bowlers end stumps?”
  • Group: Once.
  • Me: “Correct. So out of 15 throws we were accurate on 4 occasions. That's less than 30% Accuracy. Could that be improved on?”
  • Group: Goodness yes!
  • Me: “OK, so what would we tell a group of players if they performed to an accuracy under 20% of their target?

And the answers about feet alignment, early vision on the intended target and reaching towards the target post throw all came out.

It was a good coach conversation and very similar to those that the coaches have at Millfield all the time.

Of course, the intention of the exercise was to not to improve the fielding of the group of coaches in the room.

One of the intentions was to demonstrate was how having a a set of clear principles and philosophies which underpin your coaching practice allows you to stay on track when designing sessions and gives your players consistent direction as to the things that you want to see from them in both practice and in match play.

The other thing was to show how very basic measurement (I used a flip chart to log throws and hits) could give valid feedback to the group which then initiates coaching conversation and incremental development in performance.

If you have a clear philosophy on how you like to coach and the things that you coach, then challenge it by asking someone else to watch you coach and see if they can challenge the connectivity between your coaching beliefs and your coaching practice.

It's an interesting exercise and often leads to an increase in self-awareness and better coaching practice.

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Develop Faster Running and Better Fielding with a Stopwatch and This Drill

This simple drill boosts running and fielding confidence.


One of the things that distinguishes better cricketers is their ability to pick up quick singles, but it is hard to train well. With this drill you can show batters exactly how many they can pick up, while helping fielders work on stopping those runs.

The only extra gear you need is a stopwatch.

The drill is in two parts.

Part 1: How quick single?

This is part fitness training, part cricket skill. Mark out 22 yards to run between. Warm up as this is sprint training and the chances of injury are higher. Have someone with a stopwatch ready then,

  • Run a three as fast as you can, record the results.
  • Rest for 2-3 minutes to allow a full recovery.
  • Run a single as fast you can, record the results.

If everyone on the team does this, you have a leader board of how fast a single and a three is taken. A side benefit is you will know how fast people are, but the main benefit is everyone knows how long it takes to get to the other end from a standing start.

Generally, if you are under three seconds, you are doing all right.

Now we can do something with this information.

Part 2: Can you make it?

Set up a fielding drill where the goal is to get a run out.

The fielding position can be anywhere in the ring. Point, square leg, mid on and mid off are good starting points. Here is an example drill where for point hitting the non striker's stumps:

The drill is simple because you will have your stopwatch again.

This time you time how long it takes to pick up the ball and get it over to the stumps. The ideal is to hit them, but we are mainly working on how fast you can get to the ball and get it away, so it's not crucial.

Spend some time trying a few different ways to cover the ground faster, get a clean pick up and throw the ball accurately. See what method gives you the fastest results.

Once you have had a few goes, compare times.

You will find that it is very difficult to execute a direct hit run out within the time it takes to get to the other end.

This should give your batsmen more confidence that they can pick up singles in the ring, even when the fielding is tight.

Part 3: Put it together

From here you can progress the drill to middle practice where batsmen are trying to pick up as many quick singles as possible in a set time. Based on their times, they should get plenty more than they thought possible.

Taking that into a real match is a bigger hump to get over, but the more you practice this, the better confidence you can have in "engaging autopilot" and rushing up the other end, knowing you will get in every time.

(And the fielders will get better at hitting the stumps with all that practice!)

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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: 477
Date: 2017-09-08