Channel 4 Learning

Darren Gough's Cricket Academy: The Seniors
Series outline
Programme 1
Advice for teachers
Programme 2
Programme 3
Programme 4
TV Transmissions
Print Version

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Programme 1



  • Darren welcomes viewers to his academy and introduces the test players and the series of programmes with the young players
  • He stresses the importance of warming up before taking part in activity
  • Darren explains the importance of the grip on the ball and the rhythm during the run up
  • He describes the differences in delivering the ball from 3 positions - side-on, midway, and open, and links these to himself, Alan Donald and Courtney Walsh. He warns against mixing the actions to prevent injury
  • Darren begins to explore possible changes to improve performance
  • The vital role of good fielding is promoted, and Darren notes that England always include drills in their practice sessions
  • Darren gives 5 tips for fielding and some exercises for improvement
  • Darren introduces Michael Vaughan to demonstrate batting
  • Michael starts by going through the complete kit needed to be comfortable and safe
  • He gives particular emphasis to finding the right bat for each individual, before explaining about the grip, stance and back swing
  • Michael describes the key role of footwork (and thus the skill to read the length early to move forward or backwards as appropriate)
  • He explains that he enjoys driving off the front foot and identifies the area between mid-on and mid-off as the target area to hit
  • Michael describes the role of the forward defensive and the cover drive
  • He identifies the half volley as a rich source of runs and suggests a number of exercises to improve timing and develop a feel for front foot shots
  • The lofted drive is shown as an exciting way of clearing the close fielders
  • Simon Hughes analyses some play before Darren promotes the use of a cool down.