Hubert Taylor (Mr)
Twitter page: www.twitter.com/hgt0
22 September 2014
amended 15 October 2014
- versus -
As a young man I played much cricket, and, now I am retired and a pensioner I spend a good deal of time watching cricket - live and by way of videos.
By this note to you, I hope to whet your appetite for further, more detailed conversation in which I may be given opportunity to share with you ways in which the batting performance (and career prospects) of young players might be enhanced and bring consequent benefits to themselves and thus benefit cricket clubs and cricket as a whole.
Having had the benefit of much thought and review of my observations, I have some simple pointers that address the issues to coaches for onward communication to players.
It is evident, (as I can show, please), that there is a flaw in the existing method of coaching the basics of cricket batting to young (and older) cricketers. The flaw in the existing method of coaching batting, leads cricketers to fall into a 'manufactured' batting-rhythm rather than develop the natural-batting-rhythm that is evident in every sporty-toddler knocking about on the outfield of cricket grounds, during match intervals.
Some symptoms and consequence of flawed batting-rhythm
I believe that the flaw is:
Evident when the manufactured-rhythm effected by way of the existing coaching manual, is compared with the basic rhythm seen in:
(a) the actual play of accomplished batsmen as Messrs Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar;
(b) in any reasonable negotiation of a delivery at any level of cricket; and
(c) evident when compared with the natural-batting-rhythm of any sporty toddler able to hold and swing a bat.
A material factor when a cricketer hits poor form and resort to basics; whence the flawed manufactured-rhythm further handicaps, rather than help the player.
A material handicap when playing turning/moving ball on the front foot.
A material handicap when playing fast short-pitched balls rising towards chest/head.
Note - To watch and hit the rising ball, or to move the body-and-head to avoid being hit, the batsman needs a steady/firm foot-base before and at the time the ball passes the player.
A material handicap when playing front-foot shots against bowling (of any speed) when there is late lateral movement.
A material handicap when needing to stroke a ball into a gap in the field.
A material handicap when needing to strike/loft the ball aggressively for boundary shots.
Note - This point applies particularly to Messrs Cook, Bell, and Root, among England and Wales' present specialist-batsmen.
A material handicap clearly evident because with a 'manufactured-rhythm' the front-foot leave-alone is often a premeditated shot which becomes especially risky-batting when a bowler swings the ball late or moves the ball off the pitch.
I have identified several video-clips/highlights that I will use to illustrate my observations and assist our conversation.
Coaching-change needed to shift to Natural from 'Manufactured' batting rhythm
I think we are likely to conclude that in the interest of cricket and cricketers, there is good cause to consider, redirecting batting coaching as follows.
Current batting-coaching's (backlift, move, stroke - 1/2/3) manufactured-batting-rhythm;
Current batting-coaching's (backlift, move, stroke - singular-motion) manufactured-batting-rhythm.
Note - This rhythm is as was described and demonstrated to me in September 2014, by an ECB Elite Level IV cricket coach.
A (backlift-in-move, stroke - 1/2) natural-batting-rhythm which exhibits a pause between the two parts/beats.
I believe a remodelling of batting coaching will enable the players to build upon their natural abilities and continue to perform well when they are called-on to step-up into the higher-pressure first-team environment to play against high-quality (spin and pace) bowlers who are likely to move the ball late in the air or off the pitch; and sometimes do both.
As I am now a retired pensioner, I am wholly at your convenience in terms of date/time/place, for conversation.
The prime aim being to enhance the career prospects of professional and would-be-professional cricketers; and, add to the performance and enjoyment of leisure-cricketers.