Pre-match warm ups at the grass-roots level have transformed in recent years, but how would you like an often missed yet simple upgrade to get you more wickets?
Coaches and players spend time making sure the warm up is specific to the game. Batters get their eye in, bowlers bowl at targets and everyone catches, stops and throws balls. It's great stuff.
The problem occurs when the captain comes back from the toss to announce the team is batting, and the bowlers head of to put their feet up. Runs are scored and at the innings break we have some food to refuel. But it's rare to so this time used by the bowlers.
The warm up is long gone. You may have been sitting about for almost three hours if you have not batted. Unless you are a wily old campaigner, how are you going to get through your spell without some looseners?
So instead of an extra cake or cup of tea, the bowlers should spend 5-10 minutes getting ready to bowl.
Get the stump out
There isn't time for a full warm up, but a couple of stumps is all you need. Mark out 22 yards on the outfield and rope in the keeper or coach to catch the ball. You have halftime bowling all set up.
Extra bonus points are awarded to having some flat marker discs or PV/ONE to use as a target for a length ball, bouncer and yorker. If you have more stumps you can set up two areas and split up the bowlers (spinners and seamers for example).
The aim here is to get into rhythm for bowling and the way you do that is to build up.
- A general mobilisation and activation if you have time (glutes, shoulders, core and t-spine are the places to focus)
- Walk through your action
- Jog through your action
- Deliver from the full run up
How many balls you ball depends on the time available, the number of bowlers and the individual needs of the bowler. Some guys need to bowl a lot of balls to feel in rhythm and 10 minutes will never be enough time. Other guys can hit the spot after one ball. They should spend more time on quick injury prevention work.
Lose the looseners
With a small bit of effort, the halftime bowling drill reduce the number of poor balls you bowl, especially at the start of a spell. It works not only by physically warming you up, but also mentally preparing you for the task that you will be required in the next couple of hours.