Planning an Innings

Firstly, let me say there are many ways of planning an innings! This is just one. You have to adopt a planning process that works for you – that is, one that is successful and you can easily replicate every week. It should be a way of approaching each innings and one that you feel comfortable implementing.

So here are my thoughts on “Batting Plans”. They are GENERAL and they presuppose you are CONTINUALLY trying to be “Game Aware”. This means staying in the moment and looking for opportunities to take advantages of increased stress levels, lapses in concentration and poor decision-making by your opponents.

Planning must take place BEFORE YOU GET TO THE MIDDLE! You must be assessing the conditions while you are waiting to bat. You should always be paying attention to the course of the match, but – if, for instance, you are a number 5 batsman, you probably need to be developing your plan from the moment your Number 3 gets to the wicket. Plan as if you will be batting in 2 balls time, then keep reassessing your plan every 4 overs. Before you get to the middle – in fact before you even get to the ground! – you should have some elements of your plan already worked out. You may have eliminated some shots from your game (the one’s that have been getting you out!) and you may have decided on focusing extra attention on specific aspects of your game (eg. Making your initial movement lighter and trying to get further forward)


Keep asking the question “If things continue like this for the next 4 overs, where will I be and where will the game be?” If the answer in both cases is “I/we will be moving closer to success/winning the contest!”, CONTINUE DOING WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING!” If the answer to either question is “I will be out and/or the game will be slipping away from us” YOU MUST CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!! When changing your plan, be DISCIPLINED, PATIENT AND UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DECISIONS!

Assess who is bowling what. Decide where they are most likely to bowl a loose ball. Establish what shots you are going to play when they ball these loose balls. Limit yourself to a couple of options – back foot and front foot. Also establish what deliveries to be watchful for.


It just means you simplify your thoughts regarding each bowler in an effort to speed your response and move your side towards victory! When deciding what shots to play, be mindful of the field set, the quality of individual fielders and your personal strengths and weaknesses. Mentally rehearse HOW you should play these preferred shots. Always stay positive! – Keep reminding yourself what you are doing well. Don’t just focus on what needs improving.


Remember! The first part of ANY plan is to WATCH THE BALL AND MOVE! The more closely you watch the ball, the quicker and more instinctive your movements will be.

Also remember – keep assessing the effectiveness of your plan in the context of what is actually happening in the game. If the bowler changes his line and/or length, that will probably mean you will need to change your plan. But be disciplined and patient when assessing these changes and REMEMBER THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DECISIONS.

You should also remember that two heads are better than one (possible why Tasmania are Pura Cup Champions!) so share your thoughts with your teammates. Make them aware of your plans. This will have many effects. Firstly, it will make them think about the game more closely. Secondly it will encourage them to formulate their own plans. Thirdly, players can start to develop complimentary plans, which should increase the pressure on opposition bowlers and fielders. Fourthly, they can give you advice about their assessment of the situation and the appropriateness of your plan, and provide alternative approaches thus making your plans better. In short – planning becomes a team exercise! And finally, it is easier to commit to a plan once you have stated your intentions! The plan becomes real – not just something in your head.

One last word – planning becomes easier when we have many options available to us. So keep developing new strengths and eliminating your weaknesses through hard, disciplined and thoughtful training.

Good luck

Author: John.Hurley


When cricketers face the camera, and morality sits on a high horse by R Kaushik

Film stars spend most of their lives in front of the camera, so shooting for a commercial is second nature to them. But how do cricketers approach this task? © AFP

A few days back, Malayalam actor Mammootty was dragged to a Kerala court by an artist. This was no case of plagiarism or stealing of script; this was, the artist alleged, a breach of trust.

Mammootty’s ‘crime’? Endorsing a ‘fairness soap’ brand. The consumer’s contention was that he had taken the superstar’s word for it and used the said soap for more than one year, yet he hadn’t turned any fairer. The case hasn’t made any progress yet – but the point has been made, no matter in whose favour the judiciary rules.

Celebrities endorsing brands has always been a slightly touchy issue, an area full of shades of grey as opposed to the cut-and-dried black or white. Does the endorser have a moral responsibility for the message he/she sends out? Is he or she duty-bound to ensure that the promises being bandied out aren’t without basis? Or is it alright to just treat it as a commercial venture and therefore lend your name and time, for a fee of course, no matter if the claims made by the manufacturers of the product are far removed from reality?

It is, needless to say, entirely a personal choice. Morality is always a convenient high horse to clamber on to when you are looking in from the outside. One of our favourite pastimes has been to enforce our morality on others, and conveniently looking in the other direction when our own morality comes under question. A pretty divisive talking point, pretty much like spirit of cricket.

Some five years back, when retirement was the last thing on his mind and he was still stacking up the runs, Sachin Tendulkar turned down a Rs 20-crore-a-year deal to surrogate-endorse a liquor brand. It was a call that attracted plaudits – as many things Tendulkar do – with his millions of fans eulogising the decision. It was, they pronounced, in keeping with his exalted status as role model and an example for so many in different parts of the world.

Tendulkar didn’t make a song and dance of it. He didn’t point to his middle-class upbringing, strong family roots and a sense of right and wrong instilled in him by his scholarly father as reasons for rejecting the lucrative offer. Come to think of it, he didn’t have to; there were several others more than willing to sing that tune.

But that is not to say that Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for instance, doesn’t have the same character traits merely because he surrogate-endorses a liquor brand. Since tobacco and liquor can’t be advertised openly, the latter companies in particular have come up with music CDs and club sodas and mineral water to peddle their wares. The commercial involving Dhoni is about ‘spirit of leadership’. Clever play of words there. Should the Indian limited-overs captain have chosen the Tendulkar path and steered clear of this endorsement? I am not so sure it is our call to make.

The aggrieved consumer who has taken Mammootty to court might have brought the soap promoted by the actor because it is a perishable that is reasonably easily acquirable from a financial perspective, but will anyone buy a car only because a Virat Kohli endorses it? Or a Ranbir Kapoor, for that matter? Or will the ladies hop across to the nearest dealership and come away with a two-wheeler merely because Anushka Sharma asks, ‘Why should boys have all the fun?’

Tendulkar is the highest profile celebrity to have rejected an offer of this magnitude, but he isn’t the only one. P Gopichand, the former all-England badminton champion and India’s current national coach, chose not to promote a cola product from a soft-drink giant not long after his exploits in Birmingham in 2001, while Akshay Kumar, the Bollywood star, refused to promote a pan masala brand. To each his own, then.

But this was never meant to be about morals and ethics and personal choice of right and wrong. This was triggered by the sight of R Ashwin on a Tamil channel endorsing a brand of shirts. Now, Ashwin has been a part of several ads featuring the Indian and Chennai Super Kings teams, but it was the first time I had seen him solo – the fruits of performance on the field seem finally to be translating into saleability and commercial gains.

That set me wondering – film stars spend most of their lives in front of the camera, so shooting for a commercial is second nature to them, but how do cricketers approach this task? They are most comfortable wielding the willow or hurling the ball down with tremendous speed or beating batsmen with guile and flight and dip and drift and turn, but how happy are they with painted faces and scripted lines? Do they see it as a getaway from the everyday pressures of being in the most public of sports in India, or is facing the camera a somewhat necessary evil because of the additional riches it brings with it?

From what I have managed to gather, many are extremely uncomfortable at first, self-conscious and stilted and wooden to start with, but gradually begin to enjoy the experience. They welcome the opportunity to correct a mistake – a luxury that isn’t their due on the field of play – though the rigmarole of cuts and retakes can sometimes be overwhelming. After a while, and especially for the Tendulkars and the Dhonis and the Kohlis, the men that are most in demand and therefore face the cameras more often than the rest, it is no more challenging than waking up in the morning and hitting the gym, even if they will never ever find the same degree of comfort that a Shah Rukh Khan or a Madhuri Dixit might.

To me, the most iconic cricketer commercial has to be Kapil Dev’s Palmolive da jawaab nahi. Rustic and rugged, toothy grin firmly in place, India’s greatest allrounder did more for the brand than any other celebrity perhaps has for any other product. But I am also partial to the Mohammad Azharuddin-Tendulkar byplay in the cola ads of the late 90s, when the ‘nothing official about it’ theme took deep root.

Upturned collar and designer tees and watches and glares and shoes became Azharuddin’s calling card once the gangly boy from Vithalwadi in Hyderabad became a man of the world. I distinctly remember one afternoon in Bangalore at a friend’s place when Azhar came over for lunch. By then, he had just played his last match for India, but with the national team in action, the television was obviously on. In one break between overs, there was Tendulkar talking, and sounding exactly like Azhar. It was a commercial for a television brand Tendulkar was endorsing – apparently, the rival brands were so off that they actually made Tendulkar sound like Azhar!

For an awkward moment, there was a stilted silence, broken by a helpless guffaw from yours truly. Azhar burst out laughing: Paagal hain, kuch bhi banaate hain. Some things are priceless.

Pain management Article by John Miller


image source:

Understanding Pain

We all suffer pain. We all do different things to cause pain. We all feel pain slightly differently.

Why is pain so difficult to explain to others?

Why does pain persist in some of us, but not in others?

Maybe it’s because we have difficulty understanding the who, what, where, when and how about pain.

Pain… a simple word… a pandora box of thinking! The following article is designed to help you understand pain and pain management.

Types of Pain

Nerve Pain

Nerve pain (neuropathic pain) is pain caused by damage or disease that affects your nervous system. Nerve pain can occur due to direct damage to the nerve (eg diabetic peripheral neuropathy, cut nerve, post-stroke). Alternatively, it can be affected by a virus eg shingles.

Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain seems a little easier to explain.  It occurs when you knowingly damage something eg a muscle tear or a broken bone.

The nerve endings in the damaged tissue detect a problem and initiates pain signals that are transferred through your peripheral nerves to the brain via the spinal cord. Your brain interprets the signals as pain.

Nociceptive Pain Types

Just to complicate things a little more there are two types of nociceptive pain. Somatic pain and radicular pain.

Somatic Pain

Somatic pain is pain caused by the injured structures eg muscles and joints sending pain signals up to your spinal cord and then brain.

Radicular Pain

Radicular pain is pain that stems from irritation of the nerve roots, for example, from a bulging disc. Radicular pain send pain down the distribution of the pinched nerve. eg sciatica.

The more pinched a nerve becomes the more likely you are to experience a radiculopathy. Symptoms can include muscle weakness, numbness, pins and needles or loss of reflexes in the distribution of the pinched nerve.

Acute Pain vs Chronic Pain

Acute pain is associated with a new onset on pain. It is normally associated with injury.

Chronic pain is persisting pain that has lasted over three months. Interestingly, chronic pain is not usually related to damaged tissue. Chronic pain is different to acute pain. Another term for chronic pain could actually be “brain pain”. If you suffer chronic pain, I highly recommended reading the following articles and viewing the video to understand more about chronic pain.

More information about Pain & Chronic Pain

What is Chronic Pain?

What is Pain?

What is Nerve Pain?

Sports Psycho-physiology: The Way Forward in Successful Coaching and Sports Performance.

Want to know about the latest breakthrough in thinking in sport?

Want to learn about how to coach more effectively and get more out of every training session?

Want to hear how to enhance the performance of your athletes?

Here it is: the latest thing – Psycho-physiology (more specifically sports psycho-physiology): The way forward in successful coaching and sports performance.

And guess what?

This revolutionary breakthrough in sports performance is so new that it has only been around for 5000 years…..

What is Sports Psycho-Physiology?

Sports Psycho-physiology (and let me be the first to introduce the inevitable acronym SPP) is a fancy name for the integration of mind and body in the effective training, preparation and performance strategies of athletes. It is about helping athletes to perform better through using their mind and body in harmony in training and competition.

Everything old is new again: Psycho-physiology through the ages.

Before someone steps up and writes a book claiming to be the guru of sports psycho-physiology and that they invented it, this stuff has been around for a long, long time. The Ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Chinese and many other great civilizations all have written about, spoken about and lived the integrated mind-body philosophy.

So it has been around for a long time, but only now are coaches and athletes starting to think about how to apply psycho-physiology to enhancing the effectiveness of training and preparation for sports competition.

The only three really new things about (sports) psycho-physiology are:

  1. Sports scientists and coaches are finally waking up to the understanding that you can’t train the body without simultaneously training the mind IF you want to achieve optimal results;
  2. We now have the techniques and the technologies where we can measure the changes in the brain that occur through the introduction of mind-body integration techniques, e.g. CBT, mindfulness, meditation;
  3. We have finally got to the point where we can integrate (sports) psycho-physiology in the Daily Athlete Training Environment (D.A.T.E.) through smart coaching.

What is being done in (Sports) Psycho-Physiology?

There is a lot of exciting work being done around the world in this “new” breakthrough area: here are just three examples:

  1. In the field of cardio-vascular disease, researchers are looking more and more at the physiological impact of mental and emotional stresses and mental illness, e.g. anxiety, bi-polar disorder and depression. As a result, we now better understand how mental and emotional states can effect the body (e.g. changes in heart rate, blood pressure, adrenalin levels and platelet formation) all of which has enormous implications for competitive sport;
  2. Researchers are looking closely at the impact of introducing mental skills training techniques like “mindfulness”into training programs including measuring pre (mindfulness) / post (mindfulness) performance of athletes with fMRI technology;
  3. Many professional teams are using psycho-physiology by measuring brain wave activity as one indicator of over-training, over-reaching and fatigue.

It all adds to up to one thing…………Sports Psycho-Physiology is here and it promises to be bigger (and better) than Pilates, Swiss Balls and Creatine Supplements – the difference being….psycho-physiology actually works!!!

So What does this mean to Athletes.

For athletes, SPP offers unlimited potential for enhanced performance. Traditionally we have prepared athletes for the most part from a physiological standpoint: speed, strength, endurance, power, agility, flexibility…..and then sent them out to “battle” in great physical shape. The “mental” side of preparation we have left to a few war crys, the pre-match psyche up and the ubiquitous (but generally useless) motivation speech. We have laboured under the misguided view that getting the body ready is enough.

However, this is the equivalent of strapping a Ferrari engine to a bicycle frame! An athlete who is well prepared physically but who does not possess an understanding of how to integrate their mind and their “Ferrari engine” together in training and competition can not realise their full potential.

So for athletes… have the best ever opportunity to see your dreams become reality.

What does it mean for Coaches.

The key for coaches is to integrate SPP into their training and preparation environments by the addition of a mental component in their planning, periodisation and exercise prescription.

So, in practical terms, it means adding a mental element to every training set, every skill practice routine, every fitness activity: to change your programming tools from just volume, intensity and frequency to volume, intensity, frequency AND a mental factor.

Once you make this fundamental philosophical step of incorporating a mental aspect into your physical training routines and practices your coaching will achieve new heights.

(Watch for a future post: Programming with Sports Psycho-physiology).

What does it mean for Sporting Institutions, Universities, Academies, Coach Educators etc.

For sporting institutions, the Sports Psycho-physiology revolution means four things:

  1. Integration– of physiology and psychology resources, staff, research and departments;
  2. Innovation – solving performance problems which incorporate mind / body solutions;
  3. Inspiration – seeing this new direction as a limitless opportunity to find performance breakthroughs through integrated research, different thinking and as an incredible opportunity to help athletes and coaches achieve new levels of excellence;
  4. Illumination – changing the way we educate coaches about sports science right from their first day in the coach education system.

The Silo System is Dead.

Now that the “silo” (i.e. single discipline, reductionist) approach to applying sports science to athlete and coach performance is finally being seriously challenged around the world, more and more of these “inter-disciplinary” breakthroughs will emerge….

So what’s the next inter-disciplinary breakthrough likely to be?

Bio-physiology:(i.e. bio-mechanics and physiology): Imagine what we could achieve by integrating the fields of bio-mechanics and physiology so that when we make a change to an athlete’s technique or skills, we simultaneously consider the impact on physiological efficiency, energy cost, oxygen dynamics etc.

Psycho-mechanics: (i.e. psychology and bio-mechanics): Imagine what we could achieve if we incorporated a mental component into bio-mechanics so that when we work on improving, changing and enhancing an athlete’s technique, we also include things like relaxation, flow, feeling, focus, concentration and mindfulness.

Now that the shackles of the single discipline silo approach to sports science have been removed, so too have the limits to human performance.

Question….Where will it end?

Answer….It wont!

Wayne Goldsmith



What is Yoga? Article by Dianna Filippelli

yoga brisbane

Yoga is a hindu discipline that is derived from the sanskrit word “Yuj” which means union. Hence, yoga is the union of spiritual, mental and physical awareness. Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise, originating in 3000 B.C. Hatha yoga, or “yoga of postures” is the most common form of yoga practiced in Western countries. It involves coordinating breath with movement, or the performance of a sequence of “asanas”, which are yoga postures.

Essentially yoga promotes flexibility in both the body AND the mind so you can lead a more balanced lifestyle.

How Does Yoga Help You?

Yoga has many benefits. The most notable include:

  • improved flexibility
  • better sleep
  • improved core stability
  • enhanced stress management
  • improved overall body strength
  • better circulation
  • improved postural alignment
  • improved digestion
  • improved balance
  • enhanced body awareness
  • greater mental clarity

1. Bussing, A. et al. 2012. Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health: A Short Summary of Reviews. Evidence Based Alternative Complementary Medicines. 13 (9), 2-10.

2. Ross, A., Thomas, S. 2010. The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: a review of comparison studies. Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. 16(1), 3-12.

Can You do Yoga if You aren’t Flexible?

Absolutely! Being flexible is not necessary to receive the benefits of yoga. There are many modifications for each of the poses, that you can be provided. Breathing, is the primary focus of yoga. A secondary focus is synchronising your breath with the movements of your body. So if all you are doing during class is focusing on the quality and pattern of your breath, you are still doing Yoga!

How Do You Know if Yoga is Suitable for You?

Yoga is great for nearly everyone. Male or female, young or old. Flexible or stiff. If you are unsure about your general health and whether it will cope with yoga please check with your doctor or give us a call to discuss your situation.

Yoga Classes at PhysioWorks?

PhysioWorks operates small group yoga classes to provide a safe and steady progression from basic control to intermediate and advanced control.
The small groups enable us to ensure that your quality of movement is maintained to prevent increasing your back pain or causing it in the first place.

If you are interested in attending our yoga classes, Sandgate PhysioWorks runs them under the guidance of one of our physiotherapists, Dianna Filippelli, who has a passion for yoga.

What Do You Need to Bring to Yoga Class?

Just yourself, in comfortable clothing, and a towel. Yoga mats and any other props to perform the poses will be provided.

Can You Bring a Friend to Yoga?

Certainly. We encourage you to bring a friend or two, or even book out the entire small class. The maximum group size we run at PhysioWorks is six people to ensure that you are not lost in a crowd.

Give Yoga a Try – It’ll Change Your Life!

We look forward to you enjoying the many physical and psychological benefits that yoga provides you shortly.

What is Biomechanical Analysis? Article by John Miller

Biomechanical Analysis


Biomechanical Analysis

Biomechanics is the study of human motion. The study of biomechanics is important when determining what causes injuries and therefore how we can prevent them re-occurring.  This is especially important in elite athletes but can be a major cause in recurrent injuries in the less gifted amateur athlete.

Physiotherapists are professionally trained to detect biomechanical faults which can predispose you to injury.

Biomechanical analysis can involve:

  • gait analysis – study of your walking pattern.
  • running analysis – study of your running style.
  • video analysis or motion capture analysis.
  • sports biomechanics – sport specific analysis.
  • workplace analysis – study of how you do you job.
  • biomechanics of running, sprinting, swimming, throwing etc.

For more advice regarding biomechanics analysis, please consult with your physiotherapist

Statistics I would like to see in Cricket


One of the things I like about American sports are the various statistics they calculate to analyze the game better. Cricket is quite a complex game. I feel there are a few stats we can easily calculate to make the game and the performances more understandable.

Here are some stats I would like to be reported in cricket. Most of these are simple enough and can be calculated by having a single additional person record the game on the field.

1. Trailing 1 year averages (batting, bowling)

Answers the question: How well have you been recently playing?

Take the last 365 days, and calculate batting and bowling averages based on that. This will help find players who are playing well recently as opposed to those who had a great run 5 years ago and have been mediocre ever since.

Players I would like to see this for: Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kane Williamson, Kumar Sangakkara

2. Runs saved (Fielding)

Answers the question: How good of a ground fielder are you?

Take the number of runs saved due to a great piece of fielding and subtract the number of runs lost due to misfields and bad throws. There would be some subjectivity involved in calculating this metric, but over time, good fielders will stand above poor ones. This will also penalize flashy fielders who misfield a lot.

Players I would like to see this for: Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers

3. Catching efficiency

This is for fielders again. It will help separate the truly great catchers from the mere mediocre ones.

Simple version: Percentage of catches held

Complex version: Percentage of catches held weighted by the difficulty level of the catch. Harder catches get more credit.

Players I would like to see this for: Shikhar Dhawan, Kieron Pollard, Jacques Kallis

4. Wicketkeeping efficiency

Similar to the Quarterback rating that NFL employs. We can incorporate catches, stumpings, byes given, drops etc. into a single number which rates each wicketkeeper. Too often, wicketkeepers are rated by how well they bat as opposed to how well they keep wickets. This will help answer that question.

Players I would like to see this for: MS Dhoni, Brad Haddin, AB De Villiers

5. Consistency rating

Batting averages help players who have a string of poor performances followed by a single huge one. How can we better measure dependability and consistency? Maybe we can use Average / Standard Deviation as S Rajesh suggests here. Maybe we can use median performance. Any other good ideas?

Players I would like to see this for: Rohit Sharma, Mitchell Johnson

6. Other…

What are some of the other stats you would like to see calculated? Maybe something around run-outs (how good was Ricky Ponting’s ability to hit the stumps) or running between the wickets (how bad was Inzamam ul-Haq)?

Finally, I feel like T20 cricket needs to have its own independent set of statistics. Strike rates and economy rates matter much more there than batting and bowling averages. And 50s and 100s also aren’t as relevant, given the lesser time people get to bat.