“To see ourselves as others see us” or “what do you look like?” Some thoughts on coaching demonstrations.

I took some video footage last week – any thoughts on what this “young” bowler might want to work on?

This wasn’t meant to be an exercise in self-analysis, however – rather, I wanted to try out a camera and techniques for filming a bowler in action, and then to generate some footage to practice video analysis.

But perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the exercise was the insight into what a player would see when I demonstrate a skill. I can’t say that I would want anyone to try to copy (all of) my bowling action, after seeing it in this clip!

Which set me to thinking about the demonstrations I give in coaching sessions. I don’t think I have ever seen myself on film (other than a 5 second clip, from the boundary, in a club match), and the only time anyone else has really commented on my technical demos was on the level 2 course, 4 years ago.

So I am now left wondering if my other demos are as potentially misleading as my bowling.

Especially with younger players, getting the demo right is vitally important.  If the point of providing a demonstration is to give the players a model to imitate, then that model really has to be a sound one!

In the New Year, I shall try to take some footage of my other “technical demonstrations” – bowling, batting and fielding – and subject them all to more critical analysis.

FWIW – the practical insight on filming is that shooting from waist height (actually on a tripod, set at half its full extension) wasn’t a great choice – higher would probably have been better, to get a better view of the alignment of the feet in the delivery stride.

The angle to the delivery was OK – tripod on the pitch, perhaps 1m from middle-to-middle, about half-way down. Could not have been straighter without an armour-plated camera; wider and alignment towards target would have been much harder to judge.

I was using a digital SLR, with standard zoom lens. After agonising over a new video camera, I realised that my entry-level DSLR had a video spec comparable to many low-end video cameras, and perfectly adequate for capturing footage for analysis.

Published by Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB level 2 cricket coach; ECB National Programmes (All Stars & Dynamos Cricket) Activator Tutor; Chance to Shine & Team Up (cricket) deliverer; ECB ACO umpire.

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