As someone whose always enjoyed watching cricket but has the natural batting prowess of Phil Tufnell and Monty Panesar combined, the rise in cricket apps for smart phones is both a blessing and a curse. The CricketCoach App uses a mixture of photographs, videos and training drills from a professional coach to improve bowling, batting and fielding skills. Each of the three areas have a separate app, priced at £1.99 each, so users can target their individual problems.
There are both advantages and disadvantages with the coach specific appearance. The app is undoubtedly aimed at coaches, which means that some of the videos and more text-based advice may go over younger users heads. The videos and photographs, however, are excellent. Dual video vantage points allow users to see batting stances and bowling grips from an array of views, and the option to overlay your own photographs over the technically sound images make for understanding. The videos are of good quality, and are accompanied by step-by-step photographs. The text sections, however, are a little lengthy; although the drills and explanations are useful, they could maybe be condensed to make it easier on the eye.
Despite being marketed as a multi-platform app, the size of the app is best suited to the smartphone. It appears too small on the iPad, which while the quality of the video is still good, some of the finer details are left out. There are also a few too many menu options; it can be a little laborious clicking through option after option to get to the specific training section. However, for those returning to the game, or those coaching larger groups of players, the apps are incredibly useful. The feedback goes down to the minute details, such as how to grip the bat correctly - all tips that come in handy for players of all techniques.
Although it is primarily focused on honing players skills, it also works for fans of the game. Using it when a game is on helps understand some of the finer points of international cricket that are harder to recognise through a TV screen. The sections on spin bowling, for example, were useful during England's recent series in India. They are also explained in a way that doesn't patronise the user, if a little lengthy.
Overall, for price and content quality, the app is a bargain. There are a few tweaks here and there but from a coaching and teaching perspective, it is spot on.