we offer some advice from innovative coach Gary Palmer who runs the Cricket
Coach Master Academy. Gary has coached the Indian and Australian National
sides and well as several County teams.
It is important that concentration levels are maintained for
every shot. If the machine is feeding a particular stroke the batter can
play the shot badly several times but forget this because he only remembers
when he plays it well, explains Gary. A good way to encourage
concentration is to include a couple of red balls in a bucket of yellow
balls and have the player shout when the unexpected ball appears. This
increases their awareness to the alternative delivery such as a bouncer
1. Four batters rotate the strike. They are given a target score
from a number of balls. They score through a specific target area marked
with cones. A player blocking a ball through that area runs a single and
looses the strike a player safely striking the ball for four retains the
strike. This encourages concentration and teaches them to treasure every
2. Deliver balls that are not quite half volleys at a slower pace
than normal. The batter has to play the shot along the ground. They hit
the ball slightly on-the-up and this increases their hitting zone.
3. Deliver good length balls (which might normally be dealt with
by a forward defensive) and encourage the batter to hit over the bowlers
head rather than hitting across the line. This stretches the players
technique. Twenty20 cricket, which can force some players out of their
shell and re-assess what is possible, can have a similar effect.
season Gary Palmer’s Cricket Coach Master Academy delivers a winter
coaching programme to forty young players followed by ten fixtures against
County Academy sides around the Country.
Gary Palmer said, “The Success of the CCM Academy is down to Bola
sponsorship and the use of 4 Bola bowling machines. The BOLA is the best
tool for highly intensive work on technique, tactics and above all the
mental side of batting. We are able to test batters for extended periods
of time (three to four hours), against all styles of bowling which thoroughly
tests their mental strength and powers of concentration.”
Ex-players who coach at the CCM include Richard Illingworth, Phil Newport,
Alvin Kallicharan and Mark Ramprakash.
The 2008 season has been the Academy’s most successful season to
date and ex-students have achieved: one first class debut (Benny Howell-Hampshire);
one professional contract (David Murphy- Northants); two academy places
at first class counties (plus two more pending) and fifteen players in
County under 17 and 19 sides.
Gary's check list of the five most important areas in batting technique