Power Hitting - The future
As we return from our first ever tour to South Africa, our 19th tour in all, I can look back on how these development tours have been successful. The crucial thing is the level of control you have over the players – believe we can influence not only the players cricket development but also their human development. Teach them not only cricket skills but respect, discipline and attitude. Talent and cricketing qualities are not enough – without the values they are not equipped to be successful.
We now are forming a relationship with the Gary Kirsten Academy in Cape Town, where both academies will work closely together and gain access to some serious coaching/playing opportunities.
We now cater for the pace and bounce of South African wickets to the slow, low, turning pitches of India. Our next tour is a specialist tour to Mumbai, India in February where we take 4/5 players from the academy to work on specific skills.
Regards Power Hitting – things seem to be going from strength to strength. I am off to Loughborough for a 3 day camp with the England Lions next week, then I am over in Ireland for 5 days working with both the Irish men and women national squads in preparation for the T20 World Cup next year, really looking forward to be back working with John Bracewell, one of the best coaches I have had the pleasure to work with, old school values with a forward thinking mind, a great combination!! I then go to Dubai for 3 weeks with the England Lions plus working with the England T20 squad before their series against Pakistan. I am in communication with a couple of Big Bash Franchises so who knows where that may lead!?
The game has changed dramatically over the past 5 years, you need a mixed style in the modern game, you must be assertive with the ability to clear the ropes, clear the infield and hit the ball hard! You cannot be one dimensional, you have to add to your game, not change. You have to assess situations quickly and respond. Rather than back and across test match batting, techniques have changed quite dramatically. See how the big hitters stand at the crease – you need to become two different players with the physical presence, ball striking skills to give it a go!
Your mindset must be different, play with passive aggression, hit with power and get off strike 80% of the time – you must be capable of doing both. Have great plans combined with a great disciplined approach. Look to eliminate the bowlers strength, you know their looking to bowl yorkers/slower balls, why are you waiting for it? Why are you looking for a ball you can't hit?
You've all heard of or maybe seen the film Million Dollar Arm where JB Bernstein goes to India in a quest to discover 2 pitchers capable of pitching at 85mph plus, bring them back to the US to get signed by a major league franchise. An actual true story, he did it! Well JB Bernstein now has a new venture called 'Million Dollar Bat'. He wants to find a baseball hitter, train him up then within two years get him signed with an IPL Franchise!? His view is boundaries in T20 cricket are 80 metres, baseball hitters can strike a ball 140 metres, even if they mis hit it it will clear the ropes!? I have been in contact with Mr Bernstein with a view to working with him in this process, what an opportunity that would be!! If anyone can do it, it's him!!
As I have already mentioned the game is changing and I believe it will change more in the next two years than it has in the previous ten!!
Here's to the next two years!!!