Unlock Your Coaches' Code to Boost Your Cricket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Unlock Your Coaches' Code to Boost Your Cricket

Has your coach ever said something to you that you don't quite get?

Don't you feel like you are missing out because you can't decode it?

You are not alone.


Cricket is full of crazy terms and - thanks to better coach education - the number of these terms is increasing every season. It's easy for a coach to use words that don't resonate with you and leave you confused. Naturally, a good coach will pick up on this and adapt her language, but if your coach is an average communicator you have to do the decoding.

So, to help you make sense of "coachspeak", here is a glossary that goes beyond the well established terms and into the new stuff you might here when you are at nets.

  • Areas. Line and length combined, usually used to describe a spell. "The bowler hit good areas in his first 5 overs".
  • Backloading or baseball shot. A new type of shot taken from baseball where you shift weight from back to front foot and attempt to strike the ball.
  • Block or hit. A description of a batting style where the batsman either defends the ball or tries to hit it for a boundary. There is no effort at rotating the strike.
  • Blocked off. A general term to mean one part of the body is preventing smooth movement of another body part or the bat. For bowlers this usual means the front leg blocks off the hip. For batsmen the front leg can block off the bat swing in a drive.
  • Channel. Line, particularly referring to the line on or just outside the off stump.
  • Curtain Railing. When batting, a poor position of your bat for a defensive shot, too far to the leg side. You attempt to adjust last minute by moving your hands sideways. This usually causes an edge.
  • Dropzone. An area on the field close to the striking batsman that is undefended by a fielder, allowing the batter to play a defensive shot and score a single.
  • Falling away. A fault in your bowling action that causes the head to be outside the line of your body. This can cause injury and reduce accuracy.
  • Falling over. A fault in your batting technique when attempting to front foot drive straight on on side. Your head is too far to the off side cause you to be off balance (or sometimes literally fall over) and making your foot position obstruct the swing of your bat. See: Blocked off
  • Filthy. A very wide or short ball, or a batsman playing a shot across the line to a straight ball.
  • Flaw. An error in technique that reduces performance.
  • Hard hands. 1. A batting method where you try to hit the ball firmly in defence. This can be a technical flaw or a tactical attempt to Rotate the strike. 2. Attempting a catch by moving your hands towards the ball rather than letting the ball hit your hands in a relaxed way. The opposite is soft hands.
  • Hit on the up. Hitting the ball when the bat is on the upswing in the follow through of the shot, usually a drive to a ball that is not full enough. It carries a risk but has most success on true pitches with little lateral movement
  • Hitting under the eyes. See Play late
  • Middle practice. Practice that is undertaken on a cricket field rather than in nets. It is designed to provide more realistic match style practice.
  • Nick off. Edge the ball to wicketkeeper or slip.
  • Non-negotiable. A basic technical point that applies in all but the most extreme circumstances.
  • Play late. The process of hitting the ball when batting as late as possible, sometimes called Hitting under the eyes
  • Play properly. An appeal to bat by hitting the ball straight in the traditionally accept manner, rather than try to hit across the line.
  • Ready position. A stationary pose when fielding, wicketkeeping and batting where your knees and hips are flexed to prepare for quick movement.
  • Red inker. When not out a batsman is said to have a Red inker. Often this is associated with defensive batting, or selfish batting that does not account for the match situation.
  • Rotate the strike. The batter's ability to hit the ball and score a single or two regularly, particularly against good bowling that is usually defended.
  • Soft hands. See Hard hands
  • Squared up. When you attempt to play a shot while batting and your balance is incorrect, your hip and back leg can come through to bring you face on the to bowler.
  • Uppish. A shot played that does not go on the ground, but also remains low at about knee or shin height.
  • Weight shift. The process of moving your centre of gravity, usually forwards. For bowlers this happens between the back foot landing and release of the ball, for batsman this happens in every shot and is particularly noted in front foot driving.

Have you got more terms you want to define, or you know ones that are not listed here? Post in the comments or email me!

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Great blog!

I've read a lot of stuff about the 'pivot' for spin bowlers and how important it is but I can't find any specific drills that train you to do it properly or some good video of a coach demonstrating it. Could you describe a drill or maybe even do an article on it?


Salim, you can use the stand start drill to practice the pivot. There's a video of Beau Casson doing it on Youtube.