This Blog takes a lot of work to produce and it's free to access, please help to keep it alive by clicking on my adverts. Liking it on Facebook, Google +, sharing it on Twitter and other social media. Also check out my videos here and remember there's more content at www.mpafirsteleven.blogspot.com
New post in here.
25th Oct 2015
Bit cold and damp today here in the UK, but managed to get both sons out on an artificial wicket today and had a bowl and a bat. Earlier in the morning had a knock about with younger son Joe in the street outside of our house and was trying the Googly with the new bowling action and it worked. At one point I bowled an over of only Googlies and all of them were (a) Accurate (b) turning quite a bit, so this afternoon with a real cricket ball I gave the Googly a go and came out very well, taking wickets with it two or three times. That's good news as last year the Googly was pretty much non existent after the Achilles injury at the end of May and prior to that it had along with the top spinner got me a few wickets. I'm off for this week as it's half term, so fingers crossed if the weather stays dry and warm enough I'll still get a few more practices before winter sets in properly (usually around about Nov 5th).
24th Oct 2015
Winter draws nearer, but there's hope that tomorrow will be sunny and mild with the temperature around about 14 degrees centigrade, so we may be able to get out on the artificial wicket at Mopsies?
At this time of year my mind turns to what can I do in order to maintain a level of fitness to allow a decent start to nets in January and what do I do about any lingering injuries. This year I've picked up an Achilles injury (Strain) which affected my bowling throughout the rest of the season, so that's still there in the background at the moment as a twinge. So with the Achilles injury there's the need to rest it so that it has a chance to fully recover, but total rest might also equate to losing all my fitness, so that's something I need to think about and resolve.
I've also had a physio/trainer have a look at my body to identify any anomalies and he's noticed a few things that I was surprised at because of his thoroughness, but on the other hand wasn't surprised at because they're linked to a few injuries that exist (Achilles) and some very old injuries. So the recommendations I've had from the bloke are...
I've made a start on some of these and hopefully I'll be working on these over the winter. I'm pleased that the bloke said that "Overall pretty good" and I do like to think that I do enough generally to keep things ticking over, but at 55 I'm acutely aware that it would be easy to let things go and get myself in a position where I'd struggle to regain fitness and end up in a spiral heading for a fitness abyss!
Two workouts that I do are here below are working well.
I'm also getting out on a bike (Single speed) and doing a very fast quick blast route (10 mins) that takes in two big hills one at the start which is very steep and one at the end I try and sprint up, this hopefully does the cardio work, core strength, legs, knees and thighs.
Squats, planks, side planks amongst others all of it intermittent. At the moment the idea of doing this at regular times just isn't possible. But hopefully it's enough? Finally almost forgot, one of the key ones is my Gluteous Medius which I do a number of different exercises on.
3rd Oct 2015
The weather here in the UK is holding out and I've been able to bowl today and I've been working on getting up on my toes bracing the pivot leg. The expectation was that I'd lose some of the accuracy and that's what happened. I found it really difficult to bowl trying to hit a small mat as I usually do, but easier once I had a batsman to bowl at. I managed to get my younger son out 12 times in 46 balls only going for 20 runs or so, most of the dismissals would have been catches. All of which is worked out by placing cones on the pitch where I'd have my fielders. My son's quite weak playing through the offside, so I loaded up the leg-side with fielders only having slips, point and mid-off...
Forcing him to take higher risk shots swinging across the line trying to either pierce the filed or go over the top of it on the Leg-Side or try and play through the off-side. Unfortunately there's no footage as I didn't set the camera up properly and we were unable to shoot any footage. The weather's going to be okay tomorrow, so with a bit of luck we'll get a couple of hours tomorrow as well and I'll try and get some footage shot.
27th Sept 2015
I managed to get out for an hour and half today and bowled against my son. Yesterday I was working at getting my leading arm ‘Long and strong’… reaching out towards the batsman, but it went wrong and the practice session was a disaster, so today I went back to the previous set of goals and worked on them…
With the Long and Strong leading arm out of the equation I just looked to get the leading arm hand in the gather up around my ears again and it worked well. Good accuracy, line and length and a good degree of control over the specific deliveries - when I felt my son was going to come down the wicket I bowled with more over spin and got the ball to dip more. So, overall a good session. I've not looked at the footage yet, but I'm hoping the arm reaching forwards might come together on its own? But for now I'm just going to keep things simple and bowl as I am until it feels wholly natural and I no longer have to think about getting that hand up around my ear.
The image here shows the set up we use. We set up a net behind the batsman in front of the video camera to stop all the ball going to the boundary. We use 24 balls at a time and at the end of the 24 balls we go and collect all the ones that were hit around the field.
26th Sept 2015.
There's a load of historical content at www.mpafirsteleven.blogspot.com but I'm trying to log a diary in this section from now on as this Blog receives a lot of visits.
So currently after 8 years of messing around with differing run-ups, see... http://www.legspinbowling.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/leg-spin-bowling-repeatable-consistent.html I've eventually got it so that I'm happy with it now after watching the Glen McGrath video in the link above. But, it kind of leaves me in a situation where I've almost got re-learn everything I've been doing over the last 8 years. Additionally my focus has been on being able to spin the ball hard and fast and the run-up and action through the crease has always been a secondary aspect of what I do. I'm now of the opinion that the run-up and movement through the crease is fundamentally important and improves your chances of putting more spin on the ball and having more control of where it lands. The run-up and action through the crease is the foundation on which you build everything else, without a sound foundation, you're going to be doing remedial work all your life.
So, that's where I am and at the moment I've got a run-up that people say is a little like Mushtaq Ahmed's which I'm happy with as he was a very good wrist spin bowler.
I've established a run up which is 13' foot long and I lead with my left foot from my mark and take three steps and then go into the bound. That part is coming together nicely. It was then noted on the spin threads at http://www.bigcricket.com/community/forums/spin-bowling.36/ that I fall away to the left and that my leading arm is flailing around all over the place, so that's what I've been working with in the last week or so and the first stage is that I've been trying to get the leading arm in the 'Gather' so that my hand is up around my right ear. That's coming along well and has led to me not falling away to the left for some reason and added energy to the run-up. The next stage which I was working on yesterday was getting the hand forwards from the starting position and reaching out towards the batsman. So far (2 hour session yesterday) this hasn't come together because I was still thinking about the gather aspect.
The conclusion is - I need to work with the gather and the hand up around the ear aspect more so that it becomes in-grained and wholly natural before moving on to the reaching out part of the action.
You can see the develop of this work on my Youtube channel here (All the videos since August 2015).
content at www.mpafirsteleven.blogspot.com