- How my legs & feet are moving as I approach the wicket;
- where back- and front-foot land, and the sensations from the floor;
- tension between index & middle fingers, spread around the seam;
- how the bowling arm unfurls from the gather and swings down, then up again, over-the-top or slightly round-arm;
- the feel of the ball as it is released…
This started, in September, as a close-season project to refine an increasingly ragged and erratic bowling action. By the end of the season, I practically had the yips — no two deliveries landed in the same place…but if I had little idea where the ball was going, what chance did the batter have?
So rhythm first, then some degree of control of line & length.
Ultimately, the aim was to start to understand the accidental variations (off break, arm ball, possibly even a doosra) that slip out when I bowl.
Now I find, after a couple of overs, that I am thinking about nothing but the act of bowling.
Hence the “meditation” above.
Not a technical analysis, but perhaps something approaching mindful practice?
I can’t quite stay in the moment, yet, at least not to completion of the follow-through — almost immediately after release, I am watching the ball in flight, assessing outcomes:
- Did it swerve in the air
- Where did it pitch?
- Did it pitch at all?
- Did it turn?
- Did it hit the stumps?
- What noise did it make as it hit the curtain at the back of the net?
I want to learn to stay in the moment longer.
I know that if the action is pure & controllable, outcomes will take care of themselves.
And the sensation of being completely absorbed in a simple task is remarkable.
N.B. Probably not to be recommended when bowling to a batter…at the pace I bowl, I really need to be ready for the ball to come straight back at me. 😉