Head coach Ryan Campbell talks about the summer squads and the challenges of coaching in times of social distancing. Assistant coach and analyst James Hilditch gives an insight in his match analysis of players and opponents, and how to use this data.
Ryan (Cambo) Campbell
Was it hard to pick the squads?
It is always tough sitting in front of my computer trying to piece together teams or squads for the Netherlands. This has become even harder with the success and performances from players in the past year. When selecting this year’s squad, I took into account the matches we have in front of us plus what pieces of our puzzle that needed to be filled. I’m really excited to see Vikram Singh selected in the National Squad for the first time, at just 17 years of age, we are all so excited to see how far this young man can go. Julian de Mey is also a newcomer to the squad. His winter form in Perth plus results in A Team cricket last summer gets him this opportunity. It’s also great to see Logan van Beek recalled into the squad after a massive season for Wellington in New Zealand.
How do you stay in contact with the players?
In these tough times, we, like all people around the world, are listening to medical advice and staying at home. At the moment they can only do fitness as all sporting clubs etc are closed. I’ve no doubt guys are coming up with all sorts of small drills to keep themselves active. Even my 4 year old son has a ball in a stocking and hitting it to keep himself busy!
We are monitoring our players fitness via our Polar heart-rate monitors as well as our AMS system that shows our players workloads and wellness. George Dunlop [KNCB’s physiotherapist] has done a great job giving the players programs to follow. We have also split the Summer & Academy Squads into 3 smaller groups where James, George and myself can have a closer relationship with those players to make sure we are giving them all the support they need, both cricket and mental wise.
How do you and James work together. Have you both got specific areas you coach in?
James and I have a really close relationship and pretty much speak every day. I believe James is a brilliant coach and the players really enjoy working with him. When putting together my coaching staff, I believe it’s important that the coaches create bonds with the players, James has definitely got that. Added to his coaching is his analyst work. His ability to breakdown opposition players is second to none and I have full faith in his summations on our opposition.
What can you tell us about the Academy Squad?
We have announced a 9 man Netherlands Academy Squad. This squad contains the future of Dutch cricket. They will train with the National squad and receive coaching from James, Peter Borren and myself. It’s crucial for Dutch cricket that these players are given every opportunity to shine and develop. Their selections were based on not only potential but performances in the Topklasse/Hoofdklasse last year.
James (Jimmy) Hilditch
Can you tell a bit more about what you analyse and how the coaches use it?
There is obviously a difference between analysing players internally and analysing opposition. What we analyse about oppositions is a bit of a trade secret, particularly in T20 cricket where statistics and understanding of the oppositions' games are becoming an ever increasingly important part of the game. The analyst system is, at its core, about giving the players clarity when they take the field. When analysing the opposition, it is not so much the coaches that use the system, it is more the players.
As for analysing our players internally - generally after a game each player can be provided with footage. Each individual is different in the way they wish to analyse their own games. The system is good because it allows the player to see what is happening rather than analyse their game with only what they think is happening (as this can often be different). It also makes the coaching process more collaborative as we can each look at footage (the player and the coach) before discussing it and coming up with a way to train and improve whatever is perhaps a weakness. On the flip side of that, a player can also look at footage of when they succeeded. This allows them to see what they did well and can act as a comfort if they are out of form.
How do you share your knowledge with the players?
Notes on every opposition we play are provided to the group prior to playing them for each form of the game (T20Is & ODIs). Generally, theses notes are read by the players and are discussed at team meetings. Once again, each individual player will use this information in different ways. For instance, some players like to come in and discuss things with myself and do not look at footage. Others will look at footage by themselves and some will look at footage by themselves and then come in and watch footage with myself and have a conversation.
In relation to analysing our own players games - players and coaching staff constantly have access to the analyst system and so we can watch the players game play and so can they. Both players and coaches can have a look at footage and together come up with plans as to how the player wishes to improve their own game. The analyst system for a player can also be used as a tool to track progress. If a player wishes to change something technically, they can compare the difference on the system by watching themselves in more recent games compared to the older ones.
What is the biggest thing you’ve picked up from your analysis, that you wouldn’t have picked up watching the players train and play live?
Biggest thing you notice as an analyst comparing training to matches, is the differences in players technically within their first 10 or 20 balls in a match. Given the pressure, nerves etc, players often have certain things that come into match scenarios when they start their innings that are not necessarily there at trainings. Obviously, the first 10 to 20 balls in cricket is the hardest for any batsmen around the world, so being able to spot any technical flaws within this period might help a player become more consistent. For a bowler, it is interesting in T20 cricket to look back at their change up deliveries. This allows them to see those deliveries through a batsmen’s eyes. This allows them to see for themselves whether these deliveries are easily picked or not. Once again, this gives them a clear picture of what they need to improve.