Julien Wood - power hitting coach - was passionately telling the coaches stood around him that cricket is changing. I was in the crowd at the Cricket Scotland Coaches Forum for a session with the six smashing expert.

Before we touched a bat in the practical session, we learned why this stuff is important. Because everyone loves being able to clear the ropes. Because kids love to try and wack it. Because T20 is the biggest format.

We all accepted this quickly.

But there is a question.

If hitting is not batting (and it isn't), how and when do you introduce it to players?

Hitting defies the "basics" in many ways. It's premeditated. You don't lead with head, you don't keep a straight bat or a high elbow.

You get the hands up high and away from the body in the backswing.

Your hip comes through first.

Sometimes you use your wrists for power.

Sometimes you are not even balanced (although you can be).

These things are hitting and so in direct conflict with batting.

So when little 10 year old Jessica turns up to try cricket, when is the time to develop batting, and when is the time to go with power?

The trick is not to think of power hitting as different, but additional.

You learn to power hit just like you would learn to drive, cut, pull and sweep. It's not an exact comparison because "power hitting" is not a single shot, but a set of adaptable skills. Nevertheless, you give it a go at practice, you see how it goes. You hone and enhance it based on your own way of moving.

For Jessica, that means saying "hit it as hard as you can!" And letting the fun do the rest.

For those a bit older, it means practice on the technical and the decision-making elements: How and when you go for the ropes.

But you can hit the ball straight along the ground too.

Some will gravitate naturally to big hitting. You can spot them a mile off as they swing themselves off their feet when they miss! Encourage better direction of the energy. Hone and enhance the natural.

Some will prefer to play the percentage game: Straight, along the ground, balanced. They will play that way first, but encourage them to learn the other way. It gives them an option. Grow their skills.

After all, everyone - even the biggest blocker - will have their moment where they want to hit rather than bat (six to win off the last ball), so give it a go. It's not a conflict, it's an enhancement to cricket.

AuthorDavid Hinchliffe