The Sidearm

mas cambios

Active Member
The Sidearm

Was having a look at some stuff on Cricinfo, when I came across a story about a new coaching device called the Sidearm. Basically, it's a plastic 'arm' which allows you to throw a cricket ball at decent pace in order to work with batters.

The designer has won a few business awards and it seems to have a few glowing endorsements from the likes of Gooch and Andy Flower. The video they have on the site looks good, so I was wondering what you lot thought of it?

Personally, I can see the value in it but I can't help but shake the feeling that all the bloke has done is modified a dog toy. I have two or three similar things downstairs which we used to use in order to chuck a tennis ball for the dog. It will be interesting to see the cost - how much mark up on what is essentially a bit of plastic (the tennis ball versions go for around a few quid at most)

Main site is here - Sidearm Cricket ball thrower and throw down trainer for batting practice

Video of the sidearm in action - https://www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk/Entry/View/2065

The rival? - Dog Ball Thrower with Tennis Ball: Amazon.co.uk: Toys & Games
 

TonyM

Member
Re: The Sidearm

My immediate reaction was the same as you mc - "isnt that one of them dog ball throwing things". One of the tutors on my level 2 claimed to get most of his kit from the pet shop (soft balls for catching etc) so I guess this is just another option. Having said that the video certainly makes some valid criticisms of the alternatives so could well be something to look at for the winter as I would guess a bit of practice is required to throw down with any consistent line and length
 

mas cambios

Active Member
Re: The Sidearm

I have mentioned using a dog throwing in the distant past, although this was more for fielding drills. The main difference between the dog toy and the sidearm is that the plastic is tougher, a more comfortable grip and the cup has been extended and modified to fit a cricket ball.

Saying that, I always found acuracy to be fairly easy when using the dog toy, so I reckon this will have a nice and easy learning curve. As long as you can bring your arm down straight (with or withour a wrist flick) the ball should go where you want it to. The hardest element tends to be getting it to bounce where you want it. The cup can grip balls in a number of different ways - holding on to some and letting others go early. If he's solved that problem then it's probably a winner.
 

Jim2109

Active Member
Re: The Sidearm

its a pretty clever idea. whether its just a copy of a dog ball thrower or not, it still took some intelligence to realise the potential for application in cricket. so fair play to the guy. if it means a coach or a fellow player can give throw downs at high speed without straining themselves then its a great idea.

the only problem i see is what happens if your balls arent all the same size? id imagine the grip part can hold onto balls that slightly differ in size, but i wonder if the accuracy would be the same. if it works though then its a great bit of kit!
 

Frank the Tank

New Member
Re: The Sidearm

Hi Guys
I make the Sidearm - thanks for all the comments. The idea came about because I brought a dog "chuck it" to use in the nets and it basically didn't work. You can't get any accuracy or pace with it. The cup on the sidearm is designed to holed the seam of the cricket ball like you would when you bowl, when you wang a ball down the nets with it you get some serious pace on it! I am really excited about Goochie using it - it’s his main bit of kit now!
We are working on costing ect at the moment but we are looking at £20 for the Club and about £24 for pro.
 

TonyM

Member
Re: The Sidearm

FtT, welcome to the forum. Thanks for explaning the differences with the dog thrower thingy. The pricing doesnt seem too bad so any idea of when we can expect it to go on sale?

Also will there be a 'junior' option to hold the 4 3/4 balls, I fully understand the warnings on the website about kids using these things but if anything getting some quality batting time in the nets as an under 12 is harder than older age groups because of the quality of bowling and coaches of this age group get sore shoulders too!
 

mas cambios

Active Member
Re: The Sidearm

Frank the Tank;403979 said:
Hi Guys
I make the Sidearm - thanks for all the comments. The idea came about because I brought a dog "chuck it" to use in the nets and it basically didn't work. You can't get any accuracy or pace with it. The cup on the sidearm is designed to holed the seam of the cricket ball like you would when you bowl, when you wang a ball down the nets with it you get some serious pace on it! I am really excited about Goochie using it - it’s his main bit of kit now!
We are working on costing ect at the moment but we are looking at £20 for the Club and about £24 for pro.
Frank, thanks for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated, believe me.

I've registered a pre interest in the sidearm as I'm intrigued by it - as I said above, if you've got it so the ball releases when you want then it will probably be a winner. Prices seem reasonable enough, especially given the wear and tear on shoulders/arms it will likely provide.

Looking forward to getting my hands on one and I'll be writing up a review with an honest appraisal.
 

Boris

Active Member
Re: The Sidearm

In the video I see some swing happening.

Does anybody know/think that you could get consistent, if any, swing out of this thing? It seems to have a slit to hold the seem upright.
 

Frank the Tank

New Member
Re: The Sidearm

TonyM;403981 said:
FtT, welcome to the forum. Thanks for explaning the differences with the dog thrower thingy. The pricing doesnt seem too bad so any idea of when we can expect it to go on sale?

Also will there be a 'junior' option to hold the 4 3/4 balls, I fully understand the warnings on the website about kids using these things but if anything getting some quality batting time in the nets as an under 12 is harder than older age groups because of the quality of bowling and coaches of this age group get sore shoulders too!
Hi Tony - Frank is in China now and has asked me, his wife/pa/cricket widow to get back to you. We are talking about a junior option but at the moment we are going with the club (£20.99) and the pro (£25.99). To be honist the club is quite easy to use, I'm NOT a bowler but Frank recons I chuck a ball with the Sidearm that would quite good practice for a 15yr old. The Sidearm does take a bit of practice to get used to but once you have the hang of it its great. I think this is a great bit of kit for us long suffering mum and dads - no more tired arms from endless throw downs!
 

Frank the Tank

New Member
Re: The Sidearm

mas cambios;404002 said:
Frank, thanks for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated, believe me.

I've registered a pre interest in the sidearm as I'm intrigued by it - as I said above, if you've got it so the ball releases when you want then it will probably be a winner. Prices seem reasonable enough, especially given the wear and tear on shoulders/arms it will likely provide.

Looking forward to getting my hands on one and I'll be writing up a review with an honest appraisal.
Hi, glad you don’t mind us muscling in on your chat! (Franks cricket widow here - he’s asked me to say hi in his absence). Really looking forward to your honest option - they should be on sale next month and Goochie is doing a coaching video for us so you'll know exactly what your doing. Why not pick up a cheap chuck it too - we hope you'll see the massive difference we do!
 

Frank the Tank

New Member
Re: The Sidearm

Hi Boris -Goochie gets Swing and even slow balls out of the sidearm. He is doing a video for us in the next month or so - I'll put in a special request from you that he shows us how he does it.
 

mas cambios

Active Member
Re: The Sidearm

Frank the Tank;404021 said:
I think this is a great bit of kit for us long suffering mum and dads - no more tired arms from endless throw downs!
This is probably the key element of it. I had a county junior game yesterday and noticed that one of the parents spent around an hour giving throwdowns to their son. All good but there was little to any pace in it and you could tell the parent was flagging.
 

Boris

Active Member
Re: The Sidearm

Frank the Tank;404024 said:
Hi Boris -Goochie gets Swing and even slow balls out of the sidearm. He is doing a video for us in the next month or so - I'll put in a special request from you that he shows us how he does it.
This will be the icing on the cake for me if consistent swing can be gathered from it. I tried out one of the cheapie toys, and it really is a good idea to take this idea to cricket.

By slow balls do you mean you can get spin? That'd be rather difficult I would think.

Still looks like a great piece of equipment.
 

SteveyD

Member
Re: The Sidearm

This looks quite good actually, the question is, how do you turn up to nets with it without looking a bit silly for the first time ?:p

I wonder though, do you think it could be used as a tool for practising throws? Eg to strengthen muscles and get them used to the right action?
 

TonyM

Member
Re: The Sidearm

Just a quick 'view from the trenches'. My Sidearm came yesterday (big, big favour from FtT as I have three full days of coaching this week) and I have to say I am very impressed. Took it down to the nets last night expecting to be there a while to get to a point where I could be let loose at the under 14s and it is so easy, within a couple of dozen throws I was more acurate and much quicker than regular throw downs. Had a couple of other coaches with me today who had a play with it and were both impressed but will post more once we have a sit down at the end of the week.

Boris one of the coaches is the opening bowler with the 1st team and he thinks he will have no problem swinging the ball using the Sidearm, in fact his quote was 'we had better use old balls with this as it would be unplayable with a new ball'. Obviously depends on what standard you play but I would say he is a pretty decent club player

SteveyD, you would only look silly for a short period of time, as a quick demo would soon have people want to have a go (or face it)
 

Boris

Active Member
Re: The Sidearm

SteveyD;404614 said:
I wonder though, do you think it could be used as a tool for practising throws? Eg to strengthen muscles and get them used to the right action?
As good as it may be for use in the nets, it's not going to be a tool for throwing practice.

TonyM;404653 said:
Just a quick 'view from the trenches'. My Sidearm came yesterday (big, big favour from FtT as I have three full days of coaching this week) and I have to say I am very impressed. Took it down to the nets last night expecting to be there a while to get to a point where I could be let loose at the under 14s and it is so easy, within a couple of dozen throws I was more acurate and much quicker than regular throw downs. Had a couple of other coaches with me today who had a play with it and were both impressed but will post more once we have a sit down at the end of the week.

Boris one of the coaches is the opening bowler with the 1st team and he thinks he will have no problem swinging the ball using the Sidearm, in fact his quote was 'we had better use old balls with this as it would be unplayable with a new ball'. Obviously depends on what standard you play but I would say he is a pretty decent club player

SteveyD, you would only look silly for a short period of time, as a quick demo would soon have people want to have a go (or face it)
This thing looks like a very good tool, especially in regards to swing. There isn't much chance for a batsman to face swing as club bowlers struggle to find any at all, let alone find consistency in the nets.

I'm going to have to get me one.

One more question if there is someone to answer: point of release. How high is it? It's hard to tell from the videos, but does it release from a point that only the tallest of bowlers would release from? It seems a little high with the added length of the Sidearm.
 

TonyM

Member
Re: The Sidearm

Boris, as you use a throwing motion with the sidearm your hand is roughly head height so when you add the height of the sidearm (18" at a guess) you get to a similar point of release height to that of a conventional bowler

Strangely I spoke with another coach at the club (1st team bowler) last night who can't seem to get on with it. He is fine with doing high/long catches but cant seem to find the right release point for doing throw downs and was a bit sick when I just picked it up last night and could happily control both line and length - he seems to want to flick his wrist rather than just use his natural throwing action but I will be popping in on first team nets this evening when will have a bit more time to work things out. We have also purchased a 'pro' version so I will try and report back what the men (I usually only coach the kids) think of both versions
 
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