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Animated Fielding Drills Get Fit For Cricket


The exciting news is that England seamer Andy Caddick is now part of the team that brings you this newsletter. Andy is passing on the benefits of his vast experience in a new coaching course and you can get a preview of it in the main article this week. Let us know what you think.

That's not all though. Batsmen get tips on playing in the crucial number three spot, we look at the 'big rocks' of cricket training and ask you to think about what's really important. Finally we pose the importance of a good captain in a spinner's development and talk about all things cricket coaching in the miCricketCoach Show.

Have a great weekend,


David Hinchliffe

Get fast bowling advice from Andy Caddick

Former England fast bowler has joined PitchVision Academy as a coach. To celebrate, we are giving away some free fast bowling advice from the experienced paceman.

Andy's new course is called "Consistency and Rhythm: Fast Bowling Technique". It contains videos, downloads and other content; all designed to teach bowlers of any age how to bowl with the legendary pace, accuracy and stamina of Caddick.

This free sample of the course is a cut-down version of Chapter 5 called "Andy Caddick on..." where Andy discusses a wide range of topics from technical through to tactical and mental:

Andy Caddick Coaching Advice

Click here to watch the free abridged version now.

The rest of the course features troubleshooting drills, technical discussion, tips on how to be a professional fast bowler, footwear advice for seamers and an exclusive course forum where you can discuss your issues with other bowlers on the course.

If you like what you see and want the rest of the content you can enrol on the course right now.

Click here to purchase Consistency and Rhythm: Fast Bowling Technique and get instant access.


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6 Ways to become a better number three batsman

The number three position is the most difficult at any level. That's why the position is filled with the best player in the side: Richards, Bradman, Dravid.

What can we learn from these great names that can be taken into our own game?

1. Get good at waiting

Unlike most positions in the order you have no time to relax. You have to be ready to bat from the first ball and you still have to be ready to bat when the openers have put on a 250 opening partnership.

All players get nervous waiting to bat, but a good number three can always keep the butterflies in check. It's very difficult to score runs if you have worried yourself into a nervous wreck waiting for one of the openers to fall.

Most people can't just watch the game and stroll out when the wicket falls with barely a care. If you get nervous, try this simple breathing exercise to calm you down a little.

2. Have an adaptable style

The main reason why number 3 is considered the best batsman is because it consistently requires the widest range of skills. You need to be the most adaptable player in the side.

If early wickets fall you need to rebuild an innings by batting with care and reducing risk. On the other hand, if you come in after a big opening stand you need to bat with the flair of a swashbuckling middle order batsman.

It helps to have experience batting as both an opener and down the order, so you have a feel for the difference, because a chance in style is really about a change in mindset rather than technique.

You still have all the same shots no matter what the match situation. The difference is how you use them.

When rebuilding you will look to play straight, score runs from your better shots and take fewer risks. When you are attacking you will be using your full range of shots and not be afraid to take a few more risks, especially as an innings comes to a close.

3. Put in a shift

Batting is highly individual but you still need to consider the needs of the team, and that means playing selflessly or 'putting in a shift'.

Long before you walk out to the middle you will have found out what the captain requires from you. Sometimes this is obvious and you won't need to speak about it. Other times it is less clear. For example, If you play limited overs cricket with field restrictions you may be asked to bat with more freedom if you get in during the opening overs. On the other hand the captain might want you to bat through to the later part of the innings to build a solid base for the middle order to throw the bat.

In short, know your goals and work towards them.

4. Have the best technique in the side

As the most adaptable player, you also need the widest range of shots available to you. So you need to work on technique harder than anyone else.

Most of us can manage the glamour shots of cover drives and pulls, but number three is about honing the less exciting and more difficult techniques. It starts with drives, flicks and glances, especially through the on side.

You also need to be able to defend with confidence, especially on the back foot to faster bowling (a technique that can make or break top order players).

Finally, you need to know your options for adapting and hitting out. This is especially important for Twenty20 games, but can also be used in longer matches. For example, when trying to score quickly before a declaration comes.

You can't practice this too much. So get in the nets as often as you can and bat until the bowler's drop or the bowling machine overheats.

5. Be the fittest player in the team

Second only to a confident technique is the knowledge you will not get gassed halfway through an innings. Again it's adaptability which is at the root of it all. If you can still hit a long ball and scramble a quick single on 100 not out you are the perfect player to bat at number three.

One simple motivation I have found works is to invoke the competitive element: Commit to being fitter than anyone else in the team.

If everyone is willing you could compare bleep test times, squat numbers or any other measure of fitness. If the rest of the team don't want to get involved you can still make the resolution and show your fitness in your long innings, powerful hitting and fast running.

6. Be lucky

You may think that luck is not something you have control over, but you would be wrong.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman has researched into luck and found lucky people are simply people who behave in certain ways. In other words, you make your own luck.

You can read more about how that works in this article on how to be lucky.



For more more tips batting technique, check out Gary Palmer's cricket coaching courses. Gary is a coach with over 20 years experience teaching players to become first class cricketers. For the first time he has put his drills online, only at PitchVision Academy.


image credit: mswebersd


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Are you wasting your training time with sand and water?

Think of a big jar. An ordinary jar that once might have contained pickles or jam. It's empty now.

Piled next to the jar is a collection of rocks. There's nothing special about them but there is just enough to fill up the jar, so you put them in. The jar is full.

Except it isn't. You can still pour sand into the jar, and quite a lot of sand too. It gathers between the gaps. Even then, it isn't full because you can pour water in until finally there is no room for anything else.

Cricket training is like the jar of rocks

There is a lot of debate about the right way to train for cricket. New methods battle with traditional approaches. More often this discussion is focusing on the small stuff; the sand and water. The big rocks are always the same.

Spend any time on cricket forums and you will find people asking for help on trigger moves or how to bowl a doosra. These things are sand and water. The big rocks need to be looked after first; grip, stance, backlift and putting your stock delivery on a sixpence while giving it a good rip.

The debate is fun and interesting, but until you have the big rocks in place you might as well be doing nothing. Waste all your time worrying about the sand and you will fill your jar with it. There will be no room for the big rocks.

What are the big rocks of cricket?

When you are training, or planning your training, you can decide what makes up your own big rocks and focus on those first. You can fill the gaps with sand anytime. Each person is different, but some examples are:

  • A batsman improving the on drive and flick of the legs to increase his scoring areas.
  • A bowler spending 80% of his practice time working on hitting the perfect line and length.
  • A fielder making sure 20 minutes of every training session includes catching and ground drills

What are your goals? Are you focusing on the big rocks or spending too much time with sand and water?


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Great spin bowlers need good captains

Spin bowlers need understanding captains to bring the best out of them. Too many spin bowlers are lost due to poor captaincy decisions. This is especially true at junior level cricket during a player's formative years.

In modern cricket, the emphasis is all about scoring runs and big hits. Just look at the massive following of the Twenty20 form of the game. To satisfy this insatiable thirst for runs all the pitches are prepared flat and the boundaries are brought in.

Cricket Show 55: Batting against left armers and spin variations

There are three interviews on the show this week as we feature usual guests Gary Palmer on batting and Menno Gazendam on spin bowling. We get a detailed look at the forthcoming International Cricket Camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

We also get to hear about Kevin's lateste game. How did he fair with a strong batting line up this week?


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: 73
Date: 2009-11-20