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Monday, January 28, 2013

Messages from Stuart

I recently emailed Stuart Macgill asking him about his training schedule when he was younger and how it was managed and organised, from both a pro perspective and his own take on what he felt was needed. On the forums that I write on, we've often discussed what is required by way of training? It's increasingly obvious that in the professional arena, the academies, clubs and national teams are recognising that in most instances there's some recognition that a Wrist Spinners career comes to a peak at a much later stage in life than other types of bowlers. This is in part down to the fact that there is so much to potentially learn with regards the skills required, along with the strategies, but increasingly there seems to be a recognition of the fact that maturity and experience play an awful big part in the bowlers success and that a Wrist Spinner will play his bowl his best beyond his 30th birthday. In recent years I've watched Adil Rashid and Steve Smith be touted as up and coming Wrist Spinners only to see them crash and burn through exposure to the international arena potentially far too early.

We've questioned how much spin bowling would these lads have done running up to their inclusion in their national team, we've laughed at the England hopefuls that were dragged out into the middle to join Shane Warne a few years ago during the test series, they looked little more than club cricketers in comparison with Warne! If you read the biographies and books of the likes of Grimmett and Philpott, you'll read about how much time they spent as boys through to adulthood honing their skills and it was an awful lot. These days kids have so many more distractions, so can you get away with far less practice and training like with Warne? But, you then have to think that Warne was a freak of nature and is not a good example with whom to compare and judge yourself against. Whereas Stuart Macgill is a modern example of excellence with an untold story as far as I'm aware and I'm definitely eager to here about his rise to success. One of the forum posters 'Macca' who resides in the Sydney area and knows about this stuff recently posted...

macgill came from a legspin/cricket family. Taught by his father ( his dad had the grimmett books and his grandfather knew and played against grimmett) and bowled both legspin and seam until about age ten then decided to concentrate on legspin.

So he was an early starter. He always had an outstanding strike rate from junior through to test level.

Read more: http://spin-bowling.boards.net/index.cgi?board=discussions&action=display&thread=14&page=3#ixzz2JJPuYcHp

I've had a look around to see if I can find more on Stuart and have come up with this article about him, but it doesn't focus on his cricket a great deal and goes over the same old terriotry that you always hear about. But, there's a little more in there about his background.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/cricket/stuart-macgill-the-odd-man-out/2009/07/12/1247337015898.html

His reply is good news for anyone that is interested in Wrist Spin and its future, the Wrist Spin community mourned the recent loss of Terry Jenner, (Shane Warnes mentor) and on the forums we all discussed whether there was anyone that would step forward and take on the role that Jenner performed. Jenner, was a massive amabassador for Wrist Spinning, not only involved in the development of the art in Australia, but travelling all round the cricketing nations of the world passing on the skills to pro's and kids alike, including us here in the UK. I was poised to attend one of his sessions here in Essex when he was struck down by the heart attack that eventually led to his death. Stuart has just recently taken up a role working officially with young spinners in Australia and he's mentioned a promising young bloke called Joe Carroll who he found via Youtube. He's got Joe into the Australian academy, so we'll have to watch out for him in the future and see how he gets on.

Stuarts been busy with a new website that he's working on and I've just linked in with it and I'm waiting for him to verify my membership, I'll check to see if he wants more people getting involved and joining up (Which I'm sure he will) and I'll post the link here and on the forums I write on. He's a busy bloke as I'm sure everyone can appreciate and probably innundated with emails and questions, I'm just always gob-smacked when he writes back to me and how much detail he goes into and deeply appreciative of it, I said to a bloke at work today who shoots film and teaches Video & TV "It would be like Martin Scorcese or Steven Spielberg emailing you"! Despite his schedule, Stuart's  promised to answer my questions on training and when he does, I'll post up what he says.
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