Training Survey: The Results and Analysis | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Training Survey: The Results and Analysis

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Last week we asked PitchVision Academy readers how you train.

Here are the results.

If you filled in the form, many thanks. If you didn't, you can still look over the stats and come to your own conclusions about how you can tweak your training based on what other people do.

So, let's take a look.


Playing vs. training

We know that the LTAD model looks to find a balance between playing and training, so we took a look at how this translates to you.

The average reader plays one game a week and trains once a week.

That said, there was a wide variation in answers. Only about a third of readers are in the "average" range. 13% of readers play no games (probably because of off season) and 12% play more than 3 games a week. Training variation was also high with 7% having no training, and over 20% training more than 3 times a week in the last month.

We know the deliberate practice model tells us that the more you train, the better you get. And seeing how often a significant number of readers are in the nets is heartening stuff.

Almost a third of readers train more than twice a week.

That's a big push towards 10,000 hours.

How you train

Another rule of deliberate practice is that it has to be the right type of practice to make a difference.

Here it's clear that most of you are not getting the most from your practice time.

By far the biggest type of session was the traditional net: A bowler bowls, a batsman bats. 66% of you did this type of training. The average player both batted and bowled (good team man) but didn't do any fielding.

What's wrong with that?

It could be better. As this diagram on batting shows, nets for the sake of nets will not help you improve directly. Nets tend to stop you getting worse rather than make you better. They need to be one (small) part of a training plan with specific aims.

The good news here is that there is a healthy cross section of training methods used to counter-balance this:

I'd love to see these find parity with the traditional net setup to better reflect modern practice methods. Coaches, take note.

Fielding, or not?

Fielding threw up some interesting results.

On the one hand, only 33% of readers did fielding practice. That's low considering fielding is regarded as equal to batting and bowling these days.

However, with 57% doing fielding drills there is a strange disconnect. I can't put my finger on why, other than a statistical anomaly.

Either way, the average PitchVision Academy reader still would do better if there was more fielding work. Yes, this often cuts into batting or bowling time but being a good fielder makes a huge difference to your select-ability if you want to become a cricketer.

Equipment you use

There was a good spread of training equipment used. Only 1 item on the list had less than 10% usage (the old fashioned slip cradle).

The most popular tool was the sidearm, getting over 40% use. The top 5, in order of popularity was:

  1. Sidearm
  2. Bowling Machine
  3. PitchVision
  4. Katchet
  5. Skyer

All are super useful tools, and in my mind every team should have the option to practice with all of them.

Hidden desires

This final category - what training you want - was interesting to me, and will be interesting to coaches and captains who want to see players make the most of practice.

The biggest desire was for more middle practice. The conclusion is that players want to make practice as realistic as possible but something is stopping it. My guess is it's mainly about resources. It's tough to get the right number of people, a practice space and enough time for everyone to benefit.

However, these are challenges worth taking head on on. It's a well proven method, players want to make the effort. If you area coach it's time to get creative!

Second on the list is bowling on PitchVision. I can understand why; who doesn't want to know how fast he bowls or how much turn he gets?

The answer to that one is also simple: Get a system at your club and start creating better strike bowlers.

Oddly, the least popular training was bowling target practice.

It's odd because one of the main advantages of using PitchVision is to track your accuracy, yet that is a popular desire. It's also odd because target practice is one of the most easy to prove methods of skill development. In other words, you do it, you get better. There is no grey area.

For me, the answer here is PitchVision too. Using a system to track deliveries is motivating (as we know). Bowling at a cone is not. So bowl at the cone using PitchVision. Easy.

What about you, what lessons can you read from the stats presented here for your own game?

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I find nets next to useless. The ground you're running on is so different it completely changes your bowling action, and all the important facets of batting - how to deal with variable bounce and sideways movement, how to find the gaps in the field - are missing.

Plus facing the same bowlers week in, week out, soon becomes boring and pointless.