We live in an Information Age. Data can be gathered on iPads. Everyone has an HD video camera in their pocket. You can spend a lot of money on gadgets that claim to use data to give you the edge.
None of it is cricket coaching.
However, it does have the power to inform the coach, who can deliver better coaching as a result. Computers are amazing at gathering huge amounts of information and sorting it into piles and patterns. Human beings are amazing at interpreting and translating this huge mass of ones and zeros into something tangible. Why would we not do it?
Analysing data certainly informs coaching.
I have been using data with the teams I coach for years in some way or another. Here’s some of the things I found that have informed how I coach players:
- The perfect wicket-taking length (and how often bad balls get wickets) .
- The impact of fielding on games and what fielding skills are most used in games.
- The underestimated importance of overs 30-40.
- Using video to review performance under different conditions.
Like coaching, there is an art as well as a science to analysing data, but if you can find useful data you can use coaching to find an edge. That's a really powerful tool available to a coach.
Perhaps even more powerful than basic advice that any player can find on YouTube these days?