In the health world, "gamification" is all the rage: The idea that using the techniques of an addictive iPhone game like Candy Crush makes eating and exercising fun so you reach your goals. This works well, and is just as easily applied to cricket nets.
By making nets more competitive and like an app, you can make them useful in doing what they are supposed to do; get you better at cricket. This is in stark contrast to the usual club net where everyone has a bit of a go and goes home sweaty but not actually any better.
So, how do we do this?
It’s easy, and you don’t need any programming experience to make it happen, just some willing players and some simple score keeping. For example, let’s talk about the simple aim of trying to become a more accurate bowler.
By far the easiest way to improve bowling accuracy is to bowl at a target. It’s the cornerstone of how PitchVision works. You run up and bowl at a target. We know from both common sense and research at the highest level that the more balls you bowl that are a good length, the more likely you are to take a wicket. So this is a great start.
But just bowling alone is not quite enough because you need to track what is happening. If you simply run in and bowl and go home you might get a vague sense of how you did in that session but no idea if it’s better or worse than before.
So, you just keep score.
If you hit your target, you get a point, if you miss it you don’t get a point.
If you track this game over a few sessions you will see your improvements. That’s as motivating as when you go on a diet and see the weight drop on the scale. Plus, if you keep an overall leader board you are motivated to be more accurate than your mate. You know the one, he’s always going on about how much better he is than you. You can prove that guy wrong once and for all.
The same rules apply for batting and fielding.
Who is the high catch king in practice?
Who has the best score in this batting game?
How much can you improve technique to become a faster bowler, as measured by speed gun or PitchVision?
If you can measure it, you can improve it. If you can improve it you will feel motivated to get better.
Maybe it’s internal motivation ot beat your personal best, or maybe it’s external motivation to be the best in the club but the motivation will keep you going all through winter nets and right to the end of the season.
If you want to give yourself the best chance of playing well, take full advantage of the tricks used by app developers.
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