Consistent And Repeatable Action - Spin Bowling.

Discussion in 'Spin Bowling' started by someblokecalleddave, Aug 24, 2015.

Put it out there
  1. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    8 Years into my wrist spin journey and only now have I realised the importance of this. My run up over the years has changed so many times. Initially focusing on the 8 step Shane Warne approach, I did that, but the bowled off the wrong foot with a skip like Titch Freeman. The skip took all of the zip out of any prospect of having any "Explosive energy" through the crease and in the end I realised I needed to confront this as an issue if I was going to bowl more than 4 overs before being told "Have a blow Dave".


    I turned to my younger son Joe to help me and within hours I had the basics in place and then over several sessions I converted. Having converted, I was still utterly lost as to whether to bowl off of 8 steps, run-in fast like MacGill and a 100 other options. On here loads of people were facing the same problems in different ways, loads have tried bowling like Warne - me included, then someone pointed out that Warne being the freak that he is, combined with his physique was probably not the best template for your bowling.


    In the meantime I had different levels of success, with the implementation of different approaches. It seemed these worked for a while and then for some reason or other something changed or I wanted more of something - speed, turn, dip, flight etc and so the experimentation went on.


    At the end of last year, I decided that I was just going to ignore all the advice and just run in the way that felt right and bowl. It worked to some extent, but my two sons said "Dad your bowling action is crap, you look a mess when you bowl". I videoed it and they were right it was rubbish and inconsistent. At the start of this season I came in with two methods... (1). A slower Jenner-esque approach and (2). A slightly more energetic approach with a bit of a bound. A very experienced player for the first time in almost 7 years gave me some advice - basically "Mate, don't step in and bowl, use your short run up as you get more zip off the wicket" He was right, over the next 4 or 5 matches I played in I bowled some of the best spells ever against good batsmen in some instances and took a load of wickets. Then I damaged my Achilles (Strain).


    This injury forced me to re-think my action through the crease and the approach to the crease. In the short term the solution was to bowl "Jenner-esque" off of a step or two, but trying to put a lot more revs on the ball. It worked to some extent, but I wasn't taking wickets and my line and length was inconsistent, something was wrong. I videoed myself again and the footage was bad - all sorts of problems, but the main thing was I was bowling too 'Front on' not getting side-on through the crease.


    So step one was to get back to getting side on. I got round this by ensuring that I was looking down the wicket -over my shoulder - looking around my leading arm. Straight away, immediate results, 2 wickets in a game, going for only 3 an over and being used for 13 overs. But during the game I was still wholly unsure about whether to come off of 4 steps, 6 steps or to include a bound and it just felt crap.


    On SKY here in the UK, there's been a documentary about McGrath & in the documentary he explains how he worked out his run-up and discusses how it was conceived. The basics are – you run until you feel rhythmic and are able to enter your bowling stride and action feeling comfortable. He says do this on an open field (outfield) marking your start and get someone to mark your landing point out of the bound. Do it 10 or more times to check the length and consistency and take the average length and that’s your run-up. It's here


    If you asked me what my run up consists of – or how long it is, until today I couldn’t have given you an answer. In matches, I stutter, stop, try different lengths and look like a complete pillock and then bowl off 2 steps of late, but without a bound and with collapsed pivot leg. It had to stop!


    This morning, I videoed how I bowled yesterday – 40 balls, I then videoed an attempt at bowling ‘naturally’. I then compared the two and came up with a plan. I knew I wanted 3 outcomes…

    (1). More speed, so I had to do more than walk-in.

    (2). More energy and dynamism – I needed to bound.

    (3). Get side-on.


    Stage 1. On a flat paved area I marked a starting point and very quickly discovered it was important to start off with either my left or right leg leading. I went for the left leg leading, so came off the right foot from my mark.


    Stage 2. In the short term, three steps seemed sufficient before I performed the bound into the side-on ‘Landing’ position, set up for stride into the rotation stage.

    At this point all those things that happen at that stage were un-important, what mattered was…

    Steady your self at your mark, lead with the correct foot consistently – initially this was hard, it’s not something I’ve ever done and initially I found myself doing the stuttering thing, or going with the wrong foot. I just had to just keep repeating the same lead with the left foot.

    Having got that right – the three steps felt fairly natural leading into the bound. The whole action being utterly new then felt different through the crease and initially the results didn’t look that promising, but by the 3rd or 4th ball there was a significant improvement. I then, over an afternoon in three sessions bowled 400 + plus balls. By which time I’d measured the distance from my mark to the stumps as being 8’6” and this worked pretty well.


    For the moment, there are other issues – I don’t seem to be able to spin the ball as hard at will, but I noticed when I was more relaxed, everything came together including drift so bounce and massive turn. The more obvious short term effect was massively improved accuracy with regards line and length and more speed in comparison with yesterdays ‘Jenner-esque’ step in and bowl.


    But in the short term I seem to have developed a consistent method which now gives me the basis on which to address other issues one by one methodically. So over the coming 2 weeks (No game next week for me) I’m going to work with this and hone it, so that it is my approach to the crease not Jenner’s, Warne’s or MacGill's, but mine!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
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  2. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Well-Known Member

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    Hallelujah!!! :D
     
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  3. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    I know it's dumb how I seem to not get things and focus on all sorts of other aspects and go all around the houses in order to get there. It's frustrating in hindsight, but I guess I enjoy the journey of discovery!? Retrospectively, I can't see what could have been said in order for me to see the bigger picture earlier, for all I know it may be in the Peter Philpott book or Grimmett's book, but I missed it if it's in there, or it wasn't what I wanted to read at the time maybe? It wasn't until the McGrath video that the penny dropped - just his explanation of how you establish your run up, with the emphasis on 'Your' run up and then the fact that he basically said his success came from keeping it dead simple and doing the same thing.
     
  4. Liz Ward

    Liz Ward Well-Known Member

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    It is not 'dumb' at all Dave... no two people are the same and no two people learn the same. There is similar, but not 'the same'.

    To be honest, you were/are a man on a mission and no matter how many times you would have come across the concept of 'individuality', it would have gone over your head until you bled, sweated and cried your way to this epiphany... we just needed to wait for you to get there... just as long as you did not leap out of your bath in the altogether, running through the streets of Essex shouting 'eureka', no harm done but a new horizon ahead!! :D

    ALWAYS keep it simple...
     
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  5. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    The bloody rains stopping me from getting out there and practicing it at the moment which is frustrating. I'm now worried about my Gluteous medius and whether it'll be able to sustain the rise up onto the toe, so have been walking to and from work - power walking, getting some use out of my legs. Get those muscles working properly!
     
  6. boogiespinner

    boogiespinner Active Member

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    This is great Dave and I will be copying your advice - I've never measured a run-up.

    But there's one thing you allude to which seems a compromise. You say with the Jenner-esque approach you were attempting to spin the ball more, but it's implied that's not the case now you are running in.

    I like that you were trying to spin as hard as possible. That seems, to me, the primary endeavour. It doesn't surprise me that you were having trouble with control - that's the difficult thing about this lark. Can you not keep working on that too? Maybe the practice you were putting in with that was sinking in.
     
  7. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Yeah there's some work to with it yet, I'm hoping the rain will clear up. Being a completely new approach I'm sure there's aspects of it that need to fall into place. Of the 400 or deliveries I managed to get through at the weekend, towards the later 150 or so, the whole thing was feeling looser and more relaxed - it was evident that the looser and more fluid I was the better the result and a few came out with vicious spin with seemingly no effort. It was hard at the start - it was on par with the change I made from the skip technique to the bound technique. Even towards the end of the 400 deliveries, I still was having to stand at my mark and tell myself lead with the left foot. One telling thing that I noticed was that the action was so consistent that it started to produce perfectly placed worn patches - that has never happened!
     
  8. shahidpak

    shahidpak Active Member

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    Same for me I stuttered in my run up for more than half of the season and about a month ago I changed my run up to a more natural and comfortable run up.
     
  9. leftie600

    leftie600 Active Member

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  10. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I like that. I think I said elsewhere that when I was in Derbyshire last weekend I put in a lot of practice. One session 3 hours and blokes that were playing while I was in the nets said the next day that they were mighty impressed with my fitness and dedication. I got to bowl today in a game, I'm writing the blog post for it at the moment and I've got another game tomorrow. But it went okay and I stuck with it although there was the temptation to go back to the bigger spinning 1 step approach especially when their big hitters were running my figures! Ended up going for 4 an over with no wickets.
     
  11. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Found it - check out the explanation at 16 mins and 40 seconds.
     
  12. boogiespinner

    boogiespinner Active Member

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    I worked out a short run-up while the opening bowlers were on today, just six paces altogether, 5m... result was no 'stuttering' and I was certainly looking for my marker at the start of the overs. :)
     
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  13. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Same with me, but I bowled badly yesterday after all the work and then had to resort to the Terry Jenner-esque one step approach and got it all back on track. Which was disappointing. I think there's a lot of work to be done over the winter on tarmac with hockey balls for me.
     
  14. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Massive advances with this and it's completely changed the way I bowl and the improvements so far are very promising. Check out the video here. This is where I'm at with the new action.
     
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  15. Max Andrews

    Max Andrews Member

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  16. eiglow_

    eiglow_ Member

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    and then there's paul adams who didn't give a ********
     
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  17. someblokecalleddave

    someblokecalleddave Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I don't think any of us will be looking to Paul Adams as a template for our bowling!:eek:
     
  18. Chino#21

    Chino#21 Active Member

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    As his brother in the arcane arts of Left Arm Asian Bowling I might!
    I've read through this thread and my honest thoughts are that it is perhaps not necessary to analyze the bowling action in such depth, even if it may lead to better results. If we are going to do this, however, I'll attempt to do it as conclusive and structured as I can. I'll compare the bowling action to something else I know a bit about - martial arts.

    If you are a beginner to fighting but you have had to defend yourself / have natural fighting instincts as all of us supposedly have, and someone asks you to throw a punch at a punching bag, 99.9% of us would pick up the dominant hand and wildly swing it at the bag in a sort of arc (almost like a slog sweep motion with the bat being the fist) This is much like a beginner leg spinner who would bowl with an alien grip and get all the mechanics wrong, but still produce a decent-ish delivery that turns a bit. Now if you are an experienced martial artist you'd have a punch capable of breaking bones and one that is a thousand times more likely to damage or even kill someone than the beginner's punch. To achieve that, the mechanics of the punch should be correct and then over time strength is built up in the crucial muscles, increasing speed, which is further enhanced by the control you gain through practise. The same is true of the leg spinner. Once the mechanics are functional you build more strength and endurance.(enabling you to rip the ball viciously from the hand with an action that provides a solid base for your body to go through the ideal paths of momentum) Pace and more spin are gained through strength built up in the crucial areas (wrist, fingers, shoulders etc.) and this can be released more fluently and with more confidence once control has been gained (this is the most elusive quality for a spin bowler and can only be gained through perfect practise and concentration)
    In this analogy it is clear that the action of both a punch and a leg spinner are actually quite simple when broken down in these terms. The mechanics of a punch are complex when discussed in details but they are basically the following:
    *fist starts in line with target, back of the hand pointing down (fist needs to be held in certain way, like a leg spinner's grip should also be held in a certain way)
    *hip and shoulder on fist's side pull back slightly as opposite foot starts to move bodyweight forwards with maximum momentum
    *fist is driven forwards, helped along by the violent snap of the hips and shoulders to act like a trebuchet . Two forces are at work - the punching side going forwards and non-punching side going backwards.
    *fist rotates midway so that the back of the hand is facing up*arm straightens most of the way but not entirely
    *balance is achieved by forcing punching side forwards and non-punching side backwards at the same time. The entire motion happens as fluently as a wave in the ocean with all the momentum being created, concentrated and dispersing in a force that achieves perfect equilibrium
    *impact is a whipping motion but with the fist travelling through the intended target, striking with only the middle and first finger's knuckles*tighten core just before impact by exhaling sharply
    *wrist is kept rigid to ensure all the force travels through the knuckles on impact, making a very small surface area and literally piercing through the target like a bullet
    *recoil the fist.
    As you start to practise this you notice the other things that help your punch as well, like pivoting on your in-stepping foot for more hip engagement and really snapping everything at the same time on impact. On the leg spinning side of things, all you have to do is:
    *generate as much controlled momentum as you possibly can
    *jump off your dominant leg
    *turn yourself side on mid air
    *land with your dominant foot square or even beyond square
    *land with your other foot in line with your dominant foot, pointed slightly inwards and brace the leg, transferring all the momentum up this leg and into your hips
    *raise your leading arm in line with your target
    *drive your bowling arm around while simultaneously using the leading arm to counterbalance it *in the same way as with the punch, pivot on the front foot while at the same time snapping forwards with all of the momentum transferred into the hips and shoulders
    *at the point of release, transfer every bit of momentum that has been generated up to now into the wrist and fingers, whilst simultaneously creating more momentum by exhaling (or grunting) to activate the core muscles. Redirect this momentum into the desired combination of spin, pace and trajectory (the tricky, sneaky, mad scientist part)
    *Allow the body to follow this momentum in a natural path (the "follow through")
    That's all you really need to know. There are more complicated things to it but it's not worthwhile going into them if they do not matter in the context of your bowling. If you can punch through a brick, why bother spending months analyzing how to make your punch travel 0.2 billionths of a second faster? If you can bowl a ripping, on target leg spinner, why bother pondering for hours over whether you should use five or six steps in your run up? My personal experience has been that if you get all those mechanics of the bowling action working like a machine then there is no need to bother with your action at all. Rather focus on how to use different combinations of momentum redirection/creation (different angles of spin, different paces and trajectories) [after all, one punch doesn't end a fight] I strongly recommend practising the punch as I described it, and doing more research on this, ideally getting a self defense instructor or joining a martial arts class so that you can get the mechanics right. This martial arts analogy has exceeded my expectations and I think it can be applied to all the other aspects of bowling. Cricket is, after all, a fight between the batsman and the bowler.

    (Just for fun I'd like to add one more thing to the analogy. In Taekwondo one of the most difficult kicks is a 540 hook kick, which involves a 540 degree spin, jump and kick. In leg spin bowling, this would be a flipper, which is almost identical in difficulty to the kick. My flipper and 540 are at the same level: Clumsy, telegraphed, 1/5 chance to land correctly, slow, not a 'clean' technique, about a 1/25 chance of being effective and a 24/25 chance to get me hit for a six or hit in the face. However, both skills are very possible to master, though not always applicable. Shane Warne mastered the flipper, but it was by no means his most deadly variation. It only worked if he set it up and landed it perfectly, which happened very, very rarely. One Taekwondo practitioner who has mastered the 540 kick says that he has landed the kick only a few times in sparring even if he can do it almost flawlessly at will. This is because it takes 0.54 seconds longer to execute than a normal roundhouse kick. That is an insane amount of time to grant your adversary to react. He then stated that he has landed hundreds of spinning hook kicks (the 90 degree leg spinner of TKD) and roundhouse kicks (the 45 degree leggy of TKD) in sparring because they are the most efficient kicks to use. This analogy illustrates how even if you have mastered the most difficult skills, they are not necessarily the most efficient.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  19. leftie600

    leftie600 Active Member

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    Adams is the man that entered googly syndrome and took it all the way to its natural conclusion, can't complain with his results though!
     
  20. Spin King23

    Spin King23 Member

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    I've heard people, especially the coaches on pitchvision talk about the bowling arm circle with leg spinners and how Terry Jenner encouraged Shane Warne to incorporate it into his bowling. However, I don't actually understand the purpose of it, I'm hoping you can help me understand what spin bowlers achieve from using it.
     
Put it out there