Not everyone who plays cricket has had access to any form of coaching. Many of us simply pitch up and enjoy the game, going only on a few words heard on TV or from enthusiastic team mates.
Those who have had coaching most likely received it at school. The problem with this, certainly in England, is that not many schools offer cricket coaching. It is usually offered only at private schools and most people don’t get the opportunity to learn the game at a young age.
I know myself, from starting to play cricket in adulthood, that correct technique isn’t something that I possess! It’s not easy to find, either. You can try to emulate what you see on TV, but unless you have the time to practice for a few hours each day, this doesn’t really help.
I recently came across a mobile app that aims to help people with their cricket. The Cricket Coach App, available on your smartphone, aims to tackle the coaching of the individual areas of batting, bowling and fielding across three apps.
I downloaded the batting and bowling apps (my fielding’s okay, I think…!) to see what I can pick up from them. With nets having commenced a few weeks back, I have found the in depth breakdowns of each discipline to be very useful.
The one area that I have really improved upon from last year is the bowling of wrist spin. I’m not really a bowler, but the videos, talk throughs and analysis of this trickiest of arts has been hugely beneficial.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t turned into Shane Warne overnight (more Anil Kumble if a comparison must be drawn) but I have been pitching the ball with increased accuracy and bowling a better length than before.
The app also teaches you about seam, off spin and orthodox left arm bowling. In the same vein, the batting app teaches you about front foot and back foot play; defensive, attacking, leg side and offside play. It even goes as deep as your running between the wickets and games you can play in the nets to improve your accuracy and shot selection.
My batting technique is entirely self taught and predominantly back foot devoid of foot movement. My ineptitude is more dyed in the wool than with my bowling, but the app has really helped me.
There are videos from all angles of a delivery/shot and diagrams to help further explain the techniques involved. You can record your own action and compare it against the videos in the app and it also lists all of the common faults that hold most of us back.
I would highly recommend this to any village or club cricketers, or at least anyone who hasn’t got access to coaching. It’s an incredibly affordable way of accessing thorough information and is a great refresher as to correct methodology.
By Miles Reucroft