Bowling — back to base

Had a fascinating evening last week, with Steffan Jones talking about the Governing Dynamics of Fast Bowling.

Anyone who follows Steffan on twitter, instagram or LinkedIn will know that he is dedicated to developing fast bowlers, and to developing the knowledge needed for coaches to develop fast bowlers.

It was an absorbing session — so much so, that we only got 15 minutes at the end to play with the wide array of “toys” that Stef had brought along to demonstrate some of the techniques he is using in his own coaching!

Key take-home for me on the night was the absolute necessity of making practice specific to the activity (bowling) and to the performer (bowler).

But for all the inspiration from Steffan’s presentation, it was a couple of almost off-hand comments that might have the greatest impact on my day-to-day coaching practice.

  • The bowler’s back foot must be pointing forwards when the ball is released.
  • Stef has beginners bowl from the “base” position with both their feet already aligned to the target.

Could it be that we have been teaching the basics of bowling incorrectly?

Continue reading Bowling — back to base

Simplicity and focus in 1-to-1s – ECB Coaches Association Conference review, part 1

I watched two coaching demonstrations at the ECB Coaches Association Conference – a batting session with Graham Thorpe and a spin bowling one with Chris Brown.

Both deployed a range of drills to challenge and develop specific skills, but, if I am honest, I wasn’t really that interested in the cones, hurdles and baseball mitts.

I was much more interested in hearing what the experienced coaches were saying to the player. Continue reading Simplicity and focus in 1-to-1s – ECB Coaches Association Conference review, part 1

On excellence – the quest for the perfect outswinger.

Back in the days when I played regularly on a Saturday afternoon, there was a standing joke among my team mates – that I was more interested in bowling the perfect outswinger than in taking a wicket.

And when I coach seam bowlers, once I am happy that their action is reasonably sound and repeatable, I will move on quickly to what might be considered by some to be post-graduate deliveries – variations in swing and pace – rather than drilling line and length.

I strongly believe that the role of the coach is to encourage excellence and the ambition to aspire to the extraordinary.

Always – what does “better” look like, and how can I be better?

Continue reading On excellence – the quest for the perfect outswinger.