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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Run-Ups for Spinners

Last summer my spinning was coming together in that I was beginning to get the Flick sorted (I'm generally a Roller) I've been able to get it together over short distances, but anything over about 15 yards and the effort that was required to propel the ball anything further messed up the coordination and the release flick. The precision required when flicking the ball from the hand is crucial and it's part of the reason that wrist spinners struggle with their accuracy when learning and frequently drag the ball down. But last year with continual practice I got the distance extended bit by bit and was by October bowling the ball with good accuracy flicking it rather than rolling it. Over the winter I've carried on flicking the ball indoors doing the Peter Philpott drills and just of late when the weathers allowed I've chucked a few balls around outside and they spun and turned big. The prospects for the season were looking good.

My last 3 net sessions at Grays saw me bowling well with the rolling technique, but I didn't get to start bowling with the flick at all as I was exploring other aspects when bowling, but this week I was hoping to start to use the flick at the nets at Basildon and Pitsea and then hit a stumbling block and remembered one of the reasons I developed the Googly Syndrome. The sports hall that Basildon and Pitsea use although having lots of positive things going for it has one really bad feature that screws up a Wrist Spinners bowling......... A slippery floor. If you read the last entry in the blog you'll have seen that I'd mentioned it and I did so half heartedly as part of me believed that it was a bit of a lame excuse, but at the same time half believed that excuse did have some foundation in truth and I've looked it up to see if my suspicions were right.

In Bob Woolmers The Art and Science of Cricket page 219 he writes about Run-Ups for Spinners saying that much of the mechanics are similar to that of a fast bowler..........

However, it differs in one major respect from that of the fast bowler: purchase.
The fast bowler's foot is the hinge of a lever or the anchor of a catapult. Some fast bowlers who seem to bowl off the wrong foot hardly even seem to plant the front foot. But most of the slow bowler's turn - the amount he spins the ball - comes from the purchase he gets with his front foot, as he turns on the ball of the foot during his delivery.

Slow down the big turner's delivery action, and you will see that his foot lands and then grips the pitch, only after which the twisting momentum of the body's action begins to drag it round.

You've only got to practice on ashphalt or concrete to know that you go through trainers like a hot knife through butter, the balls of your foot wear away in no time and this piece confirms a long held suspicion and theory that I've since my early days when I lost my leg break, that, if you don't get any purchase on your pivot foot - you will not get the ball to spin. Looking back now I can see that practicing in James Hornsby may well have been the catalyst for my delusion with the leg break, that then led me to working with the Wrong Un and the subsequent years then suffering the Googly Syndrome.

So that now leaves me a bit of a dilemma, I'm not going to be able to get the ball spinning and in the longer term this might be detrimental to my bowling - especially the flicking aspect. Again, I use the whip analogy, a whip cracks so violently because the start of the energy that produces the crack comes from a good solid base - e.g. you standing still and the grip of the whip being held firmly. The same principle applies to wrist spinning and the final flick through the wrist and the fingers. The only solution I can think of would be to take a big rubber mat of some sort and place it on the popping crease position. Rubber mats used in stables sound like the solution and they're not that expensive.
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