Q1

#30 - When I get close to the crease, I start doing zigzags with my run-up.

QUESTION

When I get close to the crease, I start doing zigzags with my run-up.


ANSWER

Hey,

I would put this down to poor running technique. Fast bowling is about channeling energy in a straight line towards the batsman. There's no reason for you to be doing zig zags. I would focus on improving your running technique and running with proper mechanics. 

I would then take those same mechanics into your run-up and bowling. Be patient with this though, if you've been doing zig zags for a while, chances are that it's part of your muscle memory so make the transition slowly and be patient as it will feel awkward to begin with!

All the best.


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#29 - I’m struggling with my run up. As I approach the crease, I adjust my run up speed to avoid no balls. How can I overcome this?

QUESTION FROM VISWA

I’m struggling with my run up. As I approach the crease, I adjust my run up speed to avoid no balls. How can I overcome this?


ANSWER

Hey Viswa,

This is very common with bowlers who don’t have confidence in their run up. My advice to you would be to work on your run up in practice; mark it and then bowl 4-5 overs with someone standing as an umpire. Once you know that your run-up is fine and you’re not overstepping, you need to remind yourself that IT IS FINE.

The adjustment you’re making at the end of your run-up is a mental block. Do enough work away from the middle to give you the confidence to not worry about it when you are in the middle!

I hope that helps my friend.

All the best.


Do you want to know how the professionals bowl fast? Listen to our podcasts with international and domestic fast bowlers, technical coaches and fitness trainers.

#28 - I’m trying to make little tweaks to my action with my load up but when I go from drills without a ball to bowling with a ball, I start to go back to old habits. What can I do?

QUESTION FROM WILL

I’m trying to make little tweaks to my action with my load up but when I go from drills without a ball to bowling with a ball, I start to go back to old habits. What can I do?


ANSWER

Hey Will,

I’m glad you asked this question because it’s something a lot of bowlers’ experience and get confused about. Your bowling action is embedded in your muscle memory. When you make technical changes, you’re basically trying to rewrite that muscle memory.

It’s very natural for your body to fight or resist the new changes as you start to progress from drills to real match bowling. When you drill in isolation, you can give your technique 100% attention. When you put a batsman in there, your mind starts to think about what the batsman is doing and how to get him out – this information overload makes it harder for your body to focus on the technical part of your action.

You may even find that things don’t feel right and your pace is down as you make those changes but that’s just the body getting used to the new technique.

From our experience, the transition of technique varies from bowler to bowler. It all depends on how fast your muscle memory can kick in.

The good thing to note is that you’re not alone here; this happens to every bowler who makes technical changes.

When we spoke to Middlesex fast bowler, Tom Barber, he went into detail about this exact issue so please look out for that podcast – it will be available in a few weeks.

Stay patient, disciplined and trust in your process!

I hope that helps.

All the best.


Do you want to know how the professionals bowl fast? Listen to our podcasts with international and domestic fast bowlers, technical coaches and fitness trainers.

#27 - Whenever I play a match, my first over is full of pressure and my pace is down and I bowl wides. How can I improve this?

QUESTION FROM HIMANSHU

Whenever I play a match, my first over is full of pressure and my pace is down and I bowl wides. How can I improve this?


ANSWER

Hey Himanshu,

This is a very common problem for most athletes, not just cricketers.

You’re basically allowing the nerves and pressure of the match to stop you from performing freely. Nervous energy can be used positively and/or negatively. My advice to you would be to play more matches so that the match situation becomes second nature to you. The more you play, the more comfortable you’ll become.

You should also consider developing a process which helps you block out the match scenario. Glenn McGrath used to sing songs to himself as he ran into bowl. Tino Best told us in an interview that he would stand at the top of his mark, say his trigger words and then start his run up.

Fast bowling is a process and the easier and simpler you make that process, the better you’ll perform.

Play more matches and work out a process that helps you perform freely.

I hope that helps.

All the best.


Do you want to know how the professionals bowl fast? Listen to our podcasts with international and domestic fast bowlers, technical coaches and fitness trainers.

#26 - I strained my hamstring while bowling 10 weeks ago. I’ve rested and slowly strengthened my hamstring and I’m back bowling but it’s flexibility has decreased. How can I regain flexibility?

QUESTION FROM BENNY

I strained my hamstring while bowling 10 weeks ago. I’ve rested and slowly strengthened my hamstring and I’m back bowling but it’s flexibility has decreased. How can I regain flexibility?


ANSWER

Hey Benny,

Sorry to hear about your hamstring injury my friend.

Good to hear that it’s recovered. It’s common to feel slight differences in your muscles after an injury. Most of the time this is due to a mental block; you don’t want to push the muscle because of a fear that it will get injured again.

My advice to you would be to slowly start a stretching and mobility routine and build up the intensity over time. However, it’s great news that you’re back bowling so just take it easy and get into it over time.

I hope that helps.

All the best.


Do you want to know how the professionals bowl fast? Listen to our podcasts with international and domestic fast bowlers, technical coaches and fitness trainers.

#25 - I am unable to maintain my wrist position during bowling. When my wrist is straight, my pace is good but when it’s not straight, my pace is down. How can I improve this?

QUESTION FROM CHIRAG

I am unable to maintain my wrist position during bowling. When my wrist is straight, my pace is good but when it’s not straight, my pace is down. How can I improve this?


ANSWER

Hey Chirag,

If you told me that you’re struggling to get a good wrist position, then I’d say that you need to work on some static wrist position drills.

But the fact that your wrist position is starting to break after some bowling, that suggests to me that this is a concentration/fitness issue. It’s normal to fall into bad habits when fatigue starts to kick in.

Stay disciplined and when you start to get deeper into your spell, really knuckle down and work hard to maintain your technique and skill.

All the best.


Do you want to know how the professionals bowl fast? Listen to our podcasts with international and domestic fast bowlers, technical coaches and fitness trainers.

#24 - I can bowl with no pain but when I throw, I feel a lot of pain. Will this affect my bowling in the future?

QUESTION FROM HARI

I can bowl with no pain but when I throw, I feel a lot of pain. Will this affect my bowling in the future?


ANSWER

Hey Hari,

This is an interesting question and very common.

I’m sure that your throwing technique is incorrect which is causing you the pain. If you don’t rectify this, then you could pick up serious shoulder injuries in the future. In most cases, people who muscle the ball with a low shoulder position strain their shoulder when throwing.

My immediate advice to you would be to warm up your throws before games. You can do this by throwing lightly and building up to harder throws. You should also get a resistance band and do some internal and external rotations to warm up your rotator cuff. Throw in some isometric holds to get the blood flowing into all parts of that shoulder joint and you'll significantly decrease the chances of picking up a serious injury but you must also consider your throwing technique and make the necessary changes to it so that you can throw pain-free!

I hope that helps.

All the best.


Do you want to know how the professionals bowl fast? Listen to our podcasts with international and domestic fast bowlers, technical coaches and fitness trainers.

#23 - How can I transfer a handful of unplayable balls into taking lots of wickets?

QUESTION FROM OMBAASHI

How can I transfer a handful of unplayable balls into taking lots of wickets?


ANSWER

Hey Ombaashi,

This is such a great question!

The truth is, there is nothing you can do other than to stay patient. You’ll hear every wise bowler or coach tell you not to chase wickets. And it couldn’t be truer. Your job as a bowler is to be disciplined. There’s no magic way of taking wickets – all you can do is put the ball in the right area. If you’re producing a handful of unplayable deliveries, my advice to you would be to just keep producing them and let the batsman make the mistake – and they will. If you try to do something to get a wicket, chances are that you’ll end up relieving the pressure that you built up from the handful of unplayable deliveries that you bowled!

In our next episode with Tino Best (which releases on August 22), we asked him to give us one bit of advice for a young fast bowler, and his response was, "patience".

I know it’s frustrating my friend and probably not what you want to hear but it’s the truth. You must stick at it. He who persists, will win!

I hope that helps.

All the best.


Do you want to know how the professionals bowl fast? Listen to our podcasts with international and domestic fast bowlers, technical coaches and fitness trainers.