I changed my action 6 months ago – I’m bowling faster but after 2 or 3 deliveries I start getting pain in the lower left side of my back. Why?
This is an interesting question. It’s hard to make a definitive comment without knowing the exact changes you made to your action but it’s great that you’re bowling faster.
The first thing you need to realise is that fast bowling is an unnatural activity; our bodies were not designed to twist, turn and absorb large forces. The changes you made to your action are clearly allowing you to produce more force – but consequently, your body is having to absorb more force as well. The fact that you’re okay for the first few deliveries but experiencing pain after a few deliveries tells me three things:
1. The mechanics of your action may be incorrect
2. Your body isn’t strong, fit and conditioned enough to absorb the high forces your new action is producing
3. You haven’t ‘built up’ enough tolerance of your new action
If your issue is being caused by number (1), you need to pin point the issue which is causing the pain point in your action – most likely, this is going to be down to some misalignment in your action. Alternatively, (and I know a lot of coaches may disagree with this), you may need to find a way of conditioning your body to endure those forces. As I have mentioned in previous posts, there are many elite bowlers who have found ‘ways’ of staying injury free and finding success with actions that look like a bio-mechanical nightmare!
If your issue is being caused by number (2) and you have had your action analysed by a coach and it turns out that your action is bio-mechanically sound and efficient, then your problem is purely ‘fitness’ related and you need to strengthen your body so that you can manage those forces.
If you changed your action 6 months ago, chances are you just jumped into bowling off your full run up. Even if you haven’t changed your action, it’s not wise to just start bowling off your full run up after a break or layoff so imagine how ‘careful’ you must be when you change your action to something completely new. You need to build up your bowling loads and intensity. This is how you get your body ‘accustomed’ to managing forces in an intelligent way. As they say, “don’t run before you can walk”. When we spoke to Jock Campbell, Brett Lee’s fitness coach, he mentioned how Brett started bowling slightly wider of the crease to avoid deep foot holes during a test match – the change caused him to get a sore back. The point Jock was trying to make was that, “it’s that easy to get a stress fracture”. So, you must build up your bowling tolerance intelligently if you want to stay injury free.
I hope that helps.
All the best.
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