photo credit: Tc7
Bowling faster is the holy grail for many seamers. One method that has been borrowed from field athletics is using a heavier ball to bowl with.
Does it work?
The theory behind heavy ball bowling is simple: Using a heavier ball should overload the muscles you use to bowl with. When returning to a normal ball you will be stronger and therefore able to bowl with more pace.
While there is little research into this method for cricket specifically, there has been success in field sports like the shot put. Here the method combines a slightly heavier shot put with a slightly lighter one and a normal weight one.
The method Frank Dick recommends is to bowl 5 heavy balls, 2 light balls and 1 normal ball.
It's not that far a leap to think that using various weight hockey balls could give the same advantage to a fast bowler.
Limitations of heavy ball bowling
- Heavy ball bowling over a long period could cause a large imbalance between left and right sides. This, according to Gray Cook, is a route to higher injury risk.
- Using too heavy a ball can cause you to try an compensate in your action and 'heave' the ball. When you go back to a normal ball this compensation may remain.
The solution to these issues is simple: Use heavy ball bowling sparingly (early pre-season training would be a great place to try it. In the UK that's late February or Early March) and find balls that are around 10% different in weight.
If you do try it, it should be part of a planned exercise routine that includes strength, power and speed training at least twice a week. This will help you maintain a strong, healthy body.
Have you tried heavy ball bowling? What have the results been?© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008