The Viv Richards Approach to Batting | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The Viv Richards Approach to Batting

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There is a balance between suggested methods, orthodox and well tried, and the priceless experience of the Masters who know that good cricketers should be able to find their own strengths - Viv Richards

If you ever saw Sir Issac Vivian Alexander Richards bat, you already know what the great man means by that quote from the MCC Masterclass book: Batting to him is about natural expression, not the copybook.

He is right of course. Your own batting is directly related to your attitude.

  • Are you looking to score of every ball and only defend as a last resort?
  • Do you see fielders or do you see gaps?
  • Do you concentrate on batting correctly or effectively?

Viv was never tied down by technical analysis and neither should you be.

Whatever your level of batting skill the approach is never different: Just play. There are techniques you can use to help yourself relax at the crease and build up your confidence.

If you have played cricket for any length of time you probably don't need much technical work at all, just belief you can do it.

Sure, glaring technical errors will always need to be coached, but ask yourself if you really have any or you just need to think a little bit more like Viv.

I'm willing to bet you will get more runs just by doing that.

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now David...give us skills and drills batting coaches a fair go.

Bradman and Richards etc are one in a mllion talents...if us mere mortals want to bat consistently well we have to follow the path of skill acquisition.

Yes we all need to have the basic techniques Jacko. Without that we can never succeed.

That said, I believe too many players and coaches are quick to blame their technique and try to correct it when in fact the issue is in their head.

We can't all have the talent of Richards, but we can adopt his mental approach: relaxed, confident and expecting success not dreading failure.

to rephrase my point...

if most players attempt to model their technique on Richards they are destined to is the classic flaw of excellent players coaching...trying to make players (with far less talent)in their own mold...

Average players would be better off reading the MCC coaching book of 1947 rather than that masterclass edition.

At least Bradman was intelligent enough to recognise this when he wrote his coaching book "the art of cricket"

I agree, although I was not suggesting we copy Richards technique, that is unique to the great man.

I propose we copy his approach to the game: Be relaxed, be confident, learn your own game rather than copying someone else's.

After all, what is 'correct' technique for one person is totally different to another.

Most importantly I would suggest Richards has taught us average players that it is far more important to be effective than technically correct.

We can all copy that principle.

I think there are large areas of commonality in technique that batters should follow.

I would suggest that for the vast majority of players that the path to effectiveness is through
"correct" technique.

What we must be careful of is putting technical analysis before the true cause of a players problems: Their state of mind.

That's what this post is about: Cricket coaches often focuses too much on technique and fail to consider the often more important aspects of a players mental approach.

Glaring errors aside, I would rather a team of players who have minimal coaching but go out and play with a free spirit.

The alternative is risking over-coached, under confident players who have 'paralysis by analysis' as Greg Chappell once said.

[...] not mean you need to take stupid risks, but if you are always looking to hit the gaps, run hard and think more like Viv Richards than Geoff Boycott you are in the right [...]

Reading this I believe that everyone here has a good idea. Firstly though lets think what is the purpose of "correct" technique. The purpose of it is for it to work. This is how I would define technique: Applied procedures or methods so as to effect a desired result. Every player is different. So effective coaching occurs when a player is taught to do what works for them. Everyone's opinion of correct technique is is different. Many players get out or will potentially get out playing textbook shots and their technique on such a shot should be adjusted to better suit them. This combined with Viv Richards mentality of relaxation, confidence and self belief I believe would make the perfect cricketer. But yes some basic platform of technique is needed before this is put into effect. I am coached. I had not been scoring lots of runs and I was tense at the crease. I changed my coach who adopts a more personal style to suit my batting and I told myself u kno what its just a game have fun, be confident and relax. The first innings i had after that I socred 41. And although not a huge score it is a few steps up from the infrequent teen scores, 2's,3's and ducks had been scoring. Coincidence? maybe, certainly didn't feel like it though

My point exactly Alex. It's easy to make a simple game more complex than it is.

basic technique is vital of course, but sometimes you have to just play.

Dear Friends,
I would say that mentality is the most important thing if you want to succeed as a Batsman. What Viv had was Supreme Confidence in his abilities, will to succeed, stamina and great concentration levels. He backed that up by hardwork and; by hard work i mean he worked on his body, adopted different exercises to sharpen his reflexes and he took his game bloody seriously! He use to practice a lot as well, whereas modern day players spend lot of time doing fancy stuff (Gym)instead of concentrating on the area which matters the most; the Batting itself. I have played Cricket at a very decent level and played several high class bowlers and i can tell you with confidence that you bat best when you do it with a clear mind, with a desire to get on top of the bowling, with concentration and belief in your ability that you can handle anything thrown at you and, for sure; backed up with the physical strength, that anyone can achieve by working hard and with disciplne.
You just got to take batting seriously and with the right frame of mind!!!!!
I love Viv Richards too my friends Smiling

Great comments Muhammad

i like the batting wiht free spirit, thats good to teach.
but i would prefer just to attack in the orthodox way. nothing special, just scoring rus.

thank u david 4 d article.....i think d issue wid me is mental as well coz i bat at nets lyk pro batsmen bt get nervous during a amtch nd mess up my strokes