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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bowling comments from ECB Dave

On Tuesday I sent the bowling video of Thomas to 'ECB Dave' and he emailed me back having looked at the video clip today. Here's his comments re Thomas's action...

Hey,It's not as bad as you think. He is getting into position well from a limited run up and bringing his arm through straight with his head up.If he is accurate and swinging it already I wouldn't want to do much to change his action. However, with a bit of work he could certainly generate more pace. The first thing I would say is that I can see him reigning himself in to go for accuracy over speed. This is an excellent approach as it will get wickets. I would ask him to experiment with trying to bowl a bit faster.The way I would ask him to do this is to try the following (one aspect at a time, not all at once) to see if it "feels" better or not. If the feel is not there then go back to what he was doing before:Generate more pace in the run up and jump. This doesn't mean tear in, but it means an increased 'tempo' keeping a good rhythmOn landing and going into the delivery stride drive the hip through more quickly. Imagine the batsman has a rope tied to your hip and shoulder and he pulls the ropes hard as you deliver the ball.Try and stay as upright as possible as you deliver the ball as your head falls away to the side to allow you to generate more power with your shoulder. Your hip drive will compensate for less power so keep your hip, leg and shoulder as high as possible at the moment of deliveryOver exaggerate your follow-through so you are still running after you have bowled the ball. This will teach you to drive through and follow through more.All of these tips MAY decrease your accuracy as you get used to doing them in "fast forward". Give them a good try but if they are not working go back to the old way. Accuracy is more important at club level anyway.Look here for some more tips: I also recommend is that you buy "The Fast Bowlers Bible" as this will give a practical book to try things out in the nets. Ian Pont is a fine coach (for Essex) and you can get the book here: em know how it goes!

Having read that myself I can see I can apply some of the stuff Dave’s advocating to my own bowling. I looked at my own video clip and noticed some mistakes I was making myself. I had a nightmare in the nets at the last session which was then further exacerbated by an appalling session the next day on grass, whereas usually I do well the next day and it quells my doubts, but not this weekend! Saturday it got so bad I spent the last half hour batting!
My own video clip highlighted that I’m not following through after releasing the ball. This is something I have worked on before but obviously need to work harder on, I’ve tried it without balls and it just doesn’t feel right, so I’m going to have to wait till I get another chance outside at some point. But the worst aspect of all is that I seem to have lost the ability to make the ball turn left (Leg spin) either round the batsman’s legs or away from off stump. Having talked to the captain and to ECB Dave on here it seems I may be trying to jump before I can walk. All the other deliveries seem to have come really easy – Over-spinner, flipper and the Wrong-un, but seemingly at the expense of the Leg spin.

On Sunday I tried a few things out – aiming at very small targets using the leg spin delivery only, the length was okay, as too was the accuracy regarding width (70%). But the ball was consistently turning right (Wrong un) even though I was trying the leg spin. I realised that the looser I was and more relaxed the more accurate and less likely to throw wide balls I became. I then started throwing the ball from a position much closer to the stumps with a lot less effort and was able to make the ball turn. Progressively I got further and further away from the stumps and I was able to throw ‘Leggies’ effectively up to a distance of approx 56’. If I then extended the length to the full 66’ it seemed the amount of effort I was having to put into the throw was meaning it was leaving my hand in such a way that it was going wrong. So I came away from the session thinking I’ll stick to throwing leggies and do so in the short term from a shorter length and then gradually work backwards as I re-learn how to throw the leggie and make it turn. So what I’m basically doing is what ECB Dave has said regarding Thomas, take on one change at a time and see how it works out. I’m too impatient to just do one, so I’ll do the shorter length and the follow through together and see how it works out!
I’m hoping that part of the problem is that preceding the last net practice I’d had a knackered back and hadn’t been doing any exercises, so half the problem may be I wasn’t as strong? So if I now get back to exercising I may get the leggie back anyway?

I think the videoing of the practice sessions is probably a good tool, as it allows you to be critcal of what you are doing and see how you're bowling or batting, so may end up a good training aid? Badger has said that next week he'll have the capacity to film a lot more so if he points the camera at you - take advantage do your stuff and evaluate the results.

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