The impact zone analysis process

The analysis process I developed came about when I was coaching our junior representative players here in Southern California. I wanted to help the boys improve their timing and of course timing means hitting the ball more consistently out of the middle. High tech video analysis equipment and software was out of our budget but I know that some people learn better by “seeing” what is happening rather than just being told, me being one of them. I wanted something that would “show” the batsman exactly where on the bat he was hitting the ball and it couldn’t cost a fortune. By seeing where the ball was impacting with the bat against different types of bowlers the batsman could alter his timing or adjust his technique to improve the consistency with which he hit the ball out of the sweet spot.

The product I developed is the Crictech “impact marker sheet”. It is an adhesive backed sheet that covers the face of the bat from the toe to the makers name. When the ball hits the sheet it leaves an impact mark. Simple but effective.

The insight about the sweet spot came after I’d been testing the impact sheets for a few months. I noticed that even though we were using the same cricket balls, delivered at the same speed on the same practice lane the impact position varied between different batsmen. Batsman number 1 might be hitting the ball 5″ from the toe of the bat for his drives while batsman number 2 would be hitting it consistently at 8″ from the toe. I realized then that it must be the batsman’s technique and not the bounciness of the wicket that determines how high up on the bat the ball hits.

The next thing I did was to test with different bowling speeds and using different ground conditions – spin bowling and quick bowling on fast bouncy tracks and slow low tracks. Batsman number 1 still hit his drives at 5″ from the toe and batsman number 2 still hit his drives at 8″ from the toe. The speed of the ball didn’t matter and the bounciness of the track didn’t matter, the difference was all down to the individual batsman.

The next step was obvious. Make a bat to suit the batsman!

Slow wickets, low middle bat myth.

When I was playing in England I used to go for bats with a low middle – lots of rain in England means slow wickets and slow wickets means choose a bat with a low middle right? Wrong! This is the cricketing equivalent of an old wives tale and not even an accurate old wives tale! We’ve been fed this false notion for years – if you play on fast bouncy wickets use a bat with a high middle and if you play on slow low tracks use a bat with a low sweet spot. Sounds plausible doesn’t it?

Well, unfortunately, as plausible as it sounds it is NOT accurate. The “bounciness” of the track does not determine where you need the sweet spot on your bat. If it did you wouldn’t just need a different bat for fast or slow tracks you would also need to use a different bat to play the spin bowlers than the one you use against the quick bowlers because they get different amounts of bounce.

So what does determine where you need the sweet spot on your bat? The answer is simple - you do! All those hours of practice and time at the crease in games have helped you develop “your technique” and your technique is as individual as you are. You have developed a “muscle memory” that helps you get in the right position to play your shot and most importantly you have developed “timing”. Timing tells you exactly when to swing so you hit the ball out of the sweet spot in the direction you want the ball to go. If you hit the sweet spot you are rewarded with power and control and hopefully a boundary.

Designing the optimum profile bat based on the batter's technique.

Choosing a new cricket bat can be fun but is seldom easy. It’s not like asking for a cricket shirt, they don’t just come in small, medium and large. We walk into the cricket store, look at the bats in our price range, look at the stickers and then it’s the age old test – check the pick up, bounce a ball on it a couple of times and pray that it turns out to be a belter as we pay for it! Choosing a cricket bat can be a gamble.

I’ve been testing, refining and improving on the analysis process for a number of years and selling CricTech custom designed cricket bats since the start of the 2012 season. The results have been outstanding! We use only premium certified English willow so you can be confident that your cricket bat is of the highest quality.

The sweet spot analysis and positioning is unique to Crictech. No one else in the world can accurately measure the optimum position for the sweet spot. Playing with a Crictech bat will allow you to play your shots with more confidence and will give you greater power and control. You will hit more balls out of the sweet spot because the sweet spot will be positioned exactly where you aim to hit the ball from.

Each of our bats are custom designed and hand made. We work with you to ensure you get the perfect weight, balance, pick up and profile of cricket bat. Having the optimum profile bat designed and made especially for you and the way you bat, you will walk out to the crease with more confidence, knowing that you have an added advantage.

 

best regards

Richard