Saturday, 26 September 2015

Leg Spin Bowling - Bowling Drills, Training, Practice & Visualisation.

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Training methods

 With spin-bowling especially wrist spinning (Adil Rashid link) there’s a good chance that when you’re learning you’re going to get smashed to all quarters of the ground by tail-enders, middle order players and openers at some point. To some extent this sorts the wheat from the chaff, only those that are tough enough mentally are going to survive such encounters and be able to pick themselves up and turn up for the next game and give it another go. Adil Rashid being a perfect example of the mental toughness required to be a Wrist Spinner.

 But, what you don’t need as a spin bowler is the same crap when you’re practicing. Clarrie Grimmett famously practiced in isolation, having a net in his back yard where he practiced all of the time. He never practiced in the nets against batsmen in the Aussie team because he knew that he’d meet them again in domestic games in the Sheffield shield matches and he didn’t want them to have any idea about how they might approach his bowling. He was also aware that there was very little to be gained bowling in the nets because batsmen never batted in the way that they’d bowl in a game and therefore saw it as a pointless exercise.

 I too completely agree with Grimmett and have very little time for bowling in nets as I recognise the same issues and find it a pointless and soul destroying exercise, especially if you do it without any specific intention or outcome.

 The ECB similarly warn of the same problems with young spin-bowlers…

 Time and again spin bowlers
are seen as cannon fodder
for batsmen in the net
environment, but if spinners
are to develop effectively
coaches and the bowlers
themselves have to find time
for quality specific practice.

 A spin bowler needs to have a bag of balls or at least a fence behind the stumps. I used to have 24 balls and would bowl 24 from one end then collect them up and bowl from that end for hours on end. Over the years I’ve developed different ways of doing it, but believe it’s essential to have several balls so that you can bowl in overs. Six balls would be a minimum if you’re bowling in nets as the collection of the balls kind of replicates the break between the over at the other end and yours.

2 Player method (Bowler and batsman).

 If a spinner is to bowl in
practice at a batsman, the
coach should seek to make
the practice as close to a
match simulation as possible
for both the batsman and the
bowler. Fields should be
identified, goals set, overs
bowled, scores kept, coaches
should umpire and rewards
should be given for wicket taking.

This method for the spin bowler is a far more preferable approach. We have a collection of balls e.g. 24 and we practice on an artificial wicket or a wicket set aside specifically for practice. Using 10 cones or anything you have at hand the bowler set his/her initial field. A target is set e.g. the batsman has to score 50 runs off of 48 balls to win and the bowler has to take x amount of runs or what-ever combination you feel is reasonable for each player. Between the two players you make decisions as to how many runs the ball goes for or whether it’s fielded or caught. Better still if there’s a coach or a neutral 3rd person they keep a tally of the score/wickets. The field can be re-set and the bowler should be encouraged to make observations as to where the ball is being hit and make decisions with regards the field as to where a gap may be left and the ball bowled in order to encourage the shot that’s required to gain runs through that vacant area, but bowled in such a way that it’s tactically advantageous to the bowler…

This field for instance may be set for a batsman that's been seen in the first over as struggling to play the ball being bowled coming round the wicket (Right - arm Leg Break). Warne advocates in the first over, extending potentially into the 2nd over that you bowl from different positions on the crease in order to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the batsman's approach.

4th Oct - not a lot in this section yet, but I've just found a couple of really good but obscure video from Zambia

And this one...

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