Pitchvision Academy


This week we help you bring out the best in yourself and others on the cricket field. Plus Sam Lavery has a great tip to make nets better with some string.

Have great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Coaches: Bring Out the Best in the Cricketers you Coach

Everyone has traits that create a positive atmosphere and every person has corrosive traits that bring morale down.


The key to building a strong cricket team is understanding everyone and their multiple traits that contribute to the environment and atmosphere.

Just because someone has some corrosive traits doesn’t make them bad team people, because they will have traits that other don’t. What you have to do as a coach is manage them to make sure that these traits are not at the forefront of the person they are within the team.

For example, there maybe the older experienced player who does not always agree with the young captain. The young captain may not be the best man manager at times.

What cannot be accepted is that older player moaning and visibly throwing tantrums on the field. Your role as a coach involves speaking to that player, helping him understand how they can be helpful, how if they are upbeat and behind the captain the whole team will be. This way a mutual respect is built and there is no uneasy feeling with words behind one another's back.

Similarly, there is the young player who is incredibly talented but rubs people up the wrong way. The team needs to be built around them for the next decade

Rather than sideline them, give them responsibility, help them understand to get others to do things you need to treat them well. This doesn’t have to be cricket related; organising a team building day and giving the young players the chance to lead a team in raft building tasks will make the player realise the way they act is paramount to the performance of the team.

Preventing cliques

If you let a clique form it will run the dressing room.

You cannot force people to like one another, but within a team you can guide them towards learning what other peoples qualities are. From personal experience, focus groups have worked wonders. The coaching group have identified players who don't always mix with one another and created groups of three or four and got them together for an open discussion. The discussion has nothing to do with cricket, but about life situations in general. The coaches sit back and let the players dominate conversation, and just chip in when conversation gets thin.

By getting the players talking about everyday life you are allowing them to understand one another, allowing them to see a different side of each other that normally they would not see. This is creating a friendship and an understanding that would never have been created should they not have been put together in a small group. The key however is not to tell them this is the purpose, not to tell them who is in the group, just tell each individual a time and a place to meet.

The other thing that coaches can do is use examples of successful teams within sport. There are always that group of older players expecting the junior players to join because they are the newbies. It creates a "them and us" mentality.

To break a situation like this up use the All Blacks as your example. Every player helps unload the bus, every player helps clean the changing rooms and every player helps collect equipment. Explain how there is no exception. Explain that if it is good enough for the best in the world it is good enough for your team.

Understand that everyone can be managed. Your role as a coach is to guide the team to success by allowing everyone's helpful qualities to be at the forefront of creating success, because that is how positive environments are created.

Jordan Finney is a cricket coach and sport psychology degree student.

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Use String Theory to Improve Your Batting

Nets can be improved with a few bits of string.


Head of Cricket Performance at PGS, Sam Lavery, talks us through how he stops batsmen thinking about shots, and starts them thinking about scoring runs.

And we get to see his new nets in this video


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Score More Runs with Luck

Luck is not a matter of chance.


Studies have shown wishing people luck makes them more likely to succeed. Boffins think this is because of the confidence boost you get as a result of knowing someone is looking out for you.

So it's not just superstition that makes you tell the next batsman "go well" as they walk past. It really does help.

And that's not the only bit of "luck" you can influence.

With a batting line up, there are six or more guys who are expected to do well. Not everyone can get big runs every week, but if you have a good line up, someone should be able to do it.

If they don't, well, perhaps you were just unlucky today.

Except it's rarely actually bad luck.

You see, another bunch of scientists have also proven that in any activity, people will try less hard in a group than if they were on their own. In a tug-of-war test, each person pulled 15% less hard in a group of five than when it was one on one.

They coined the phrase "social loafing" to describe it.

I'm willing to bet that if everyone in the team added 15% more runs over a season you would win a lot more games. Makes it a sensible goal to remove the social loafing, doesn't it?

The fix to this issue has also been researched. It's pretty simple, but not that easy.

Someone in the team needs to give their all.

Then, everyone follows the example.

Have You got a battling batter with the ugly technique who finds a way to grind out runs? That's your 100 percenter. They may not even contribute much themselves in pure runs, but they leave nothing behind in the effort.

And that makes everyone else try harder too.

Find that person.

They are the one who is angry the game is off when it's raining cats and dogs because it might clear up. They are the one who trains hardest. They are the one who battles every ball in the field in word or action (or both). The heartbeat. The nugget. The rock.

With someone like that in your team, you're bound to be inspired to do better.

That's just science.

Don't leave luck to luck, whatever you do.

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A Coaching Session on Batting Decision Making

This session was designed with the "Pundit Inventory" experiment in mind. I undertook the experiment whilst watching England bat in the 3rd Test match vs West Indies at Lord's.

Cricket Show S8 Episode 36: The Big Lad

Sam Lavery, Mark Garaway and David Hinchliffe talk cricket. The show discusses getting strong, trophies and awards, cricket for little kids and bowling stride length. All cricket all the time as always!

Remember to follow PitchVision Academy for free bonus content.

Listen for the details.


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: 479
Date: 2017-09-22