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How hard does your scorer work for very little reward? Very! Show your appreciation with PV/MATCH this Christmas.

Plus, we discuss coaching cricket sense and run scoring like Steve Smith.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Make the Most of Your Scorer for More Runs, Wickets and Wins

Are you making the most of your scorer?


Scoring is a thankless task, yet it takes incredible concentration alongside calmness under pressure. When it's done well, no one notices. No glory.

You can change that, and make your team better in the process.

Think about it. Who watches every ball of the game with more intense scrutiny than the scorer?

No one has a more complete picture of the game. Combine this with a thorough mind and attention to detail and you have an analyst, not just a scorer.

From scoring to analysis

When you think of your scorer as someone who can improve your game as well as record it, possibilities open up.

You can pick up stats like Control Percentage and number of chances for catches in the field.

Not only will this allow your proud geek scorer to produce more pretty graphs and chart, it lets you analyse trends in play to feedback to the coach and captain so they can gain a clearer picture of skills.

To illustrate what I mean, let’s take a typical example of an analyst in a club situation.

The captain wants his side to be better at running between the wickets. The team have a tendency to want to score with boundaries in a blaze of glory and it’s leaving the side short of runs with opportunities missed.

The scorer, captain and coach get together. The scorer shows a lot of runs in boundaries (Balls per Boundary and boundary percentage stats) but also pat back a lot of balls that could be worked as singles (Dot Ball%). This is especially true in the first 20 overs.

The team decide to set a target of 50 singles in the 50 over match, and increase Scoring Ball% to 35% overall.

The coach goes away and designs a training plan to coach players to reach the newly set target.

As time passes the scorer watches the result and reports back, allowing the coach to see how well the training is working while the captain can decide if the targets are realistic and testing but still achievable.

Make analysis easy

At club level, scorers have never had the access to technology that makes this much easier. It's meant that teams with big ambitions have been restricted.

But not any more.

PV/Match is PitchVision's scoring and cricket video analysis tool; it gives scorers the power to become part of the team's improvement drive. It makes the scorer one of the central heroes of the team because they keep doing what they do best while the team get better.

And it's a lot more fun scoring for a winning team than a losing one, that's for sure.

So, this season, sit down with your scorer and help them to help you.

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Coaching Cricket Sense

What's the secret to coaching cricket smarts?


Some people have a natural “cricket brain”. Others simply bat or bowl without thinking about too much.

The key to instilling game sense in the latter is not to bombard them with information during games. Allow them to explore and make the decisions that they think are correct, and don't be shy in allowing them to make mistakes. This is how they will learn. The biggest amount of learning can be done in discussions post game and in preparation for the next game. Ask the player open questions, allow them to tell you what they did well, let them explain why they made certain decisions and gradually guide them down the road to find what may have been a better decision.

A good example of this is a young County Age group batter that I have been working with for a very long time. She found in her first couple of games that she was facing a lot of dot balls. I mentioned to her that she was getting stuck on strike and asked her how she was going to score if the ball wasn't going to the boundary, she said she was unsure as she was finding the fielders in or on the circle. After a discussion about how deep the squarer fielders were, where the gaps were in the leg side circle were and that there was only ever two slips she said to me, do you think dropping and going is an option? Or running the ball to third man could work?

Suddenly her cricket brain is engaged and she has become cricket smart, but not because she has the answers fed to her, because she has found them out for herself. You only get cricket smart when you find your own way, the coaches job is to guide you to those answers.

Off the field

Cricket brains don't finish on the field.

For the last year I have been working with a fast bowler in the Western Province and Cape Cobras set up. I could never teach this guy anything about bowling fast, sure I gave him a few tips about his action when he went away from what made him as a player, but he knew the drill when it came to bowling.

As a coach I could help him off the field.

His diet was terrible, it involved burgers, chips, pizza, chocolate and coca cola. Just telling someone to stop eating this wont work, they have to understand why. And what better way to understand why than to experience it, just as you would in your skills and tactical development. I invited this player into my home for 14 weeks, cooked his meals and managed his diet, and at different intervals asked him how he was feeling. I allowed him to describe how he felt more powerful, leaner, faster and more energetic at the back end of the day. I explained everything from the benefit of carbohydrates, to the necessity for sugar to get a bit of a lift during the days play. Then him experiencing it reinforced the understanding and allowed him to grow.

Similarly this player never quite understood the necessity for gym work. “Gym work doesn’t make you bowl quick” were the words he used. To a certain extent its true, but the gym is where physical preparation is done to make the body ready for the rigours of bowling.

During this players stint with me I made him stick religiously to his program and each and every time explained why he was doing certain things and the ways in which they will benefit. We spoke about eating certain periods of time before training, stretching and pre and post game routines and how these all contribute to the body feeling fresh.

After this 14 weeks I took him out to dinner as a good bye before he started travelling for the Africa Cup. I asked him what he had learnt and his words were simple “you have shown me there is more to cricket than bowling the ball. To be a top class player it doesn’t end at the cricket ground, being a top class player is a way of life”.

It was making him just as smart a cricketer off the field as he was on it.

Not once did I ram any information down the players throats or force them to do anything. It was pointers here and there, and just guiding them through their journey. Allowing them to understand there is time for a big night out, but there is more time for eating right and preparing well for the next game and ultimately experiencing the answers by finding them out for themselves.

Hopefully this article firstly shows that being cricket smart is an on field and off field quality, but that you only become smarter and better if you find out the answers for yourself. The key as a coach when your working with anyone on any part of the game on or off field, is to allow the player to experience what is right, and understand why that is better than what is wrong.

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

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Cricket Show S8 Episode 37: Streaming Cricket and Big Strides

David Hinchliffe talks to Mark Garaway about scoring and streaming cricket with PV/Match. There is also plenty of banter and tips, including a great one for batsman worried about getting a big stride in.


Remember to follow PitchVision Academy for free bonus content.

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Three Drills to Score Runs Like Steve Smith

I read a fantastic question this week that challenged a conventional coaching view I heard the whole of my career but never had the "kahunas" to question my coaches!

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

This simple drill boosts running and fielding confidence.


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: 480
Date: 2017-09-29