Leg Spin Bowling Lesson #4: You Can't Look Like a Bird by Gluing on Feathers | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Leg Spin Bowling Lesson #4: You Can't Look Like a Bird by Gluing on Feathers

Leg Spin Bowling Lesson #4: You Can't Look Like a Bird by Gluing on Feathers

Who else wants a record like Shane Warne?

Heck, most leg spinners would settle for ten percent of his success.

The irony is, in trying to copy great bowlers like Warnie we are going against one of the reasons they became successful in the first place. The Aussie legend, and other greats like him, found his own way to play. They didn’t try to copy anyone else.

Not that Warne or Kumble developed their style in total isolation. Using Terry Jenner as a touchstone and mentor throughout his career, Warne tinkered to improve technique and become even better.

 I'll bet you at no point has he said to his coaches: "You know, I know I'm good, but what I really think will make me a great player is if I bowl a bit more like Abdul Qadir. Make it so."

The challenge for more mortal cricketers is to take the best parts of what the great players do and find a unique way, not to copy an idol's techniques.

The difference between copying and learning

A while back I joined up with some other local coaches and we were given some advice on how to improve our coaching of batters. One part of the course had us watching a video of a young cricketer with an average technique. We then discussed what changes we would try and make to that player.

As you can imagine, with eight coaches in the room there were at least 9 opinions on what should be done, starting with the joke: "Tell him to take up rugby". The senior coach leading things let us discuss in great detail the technical elements before asking us what we would actually do to improve his technical weaknesses.

The conclusion we arrived at was to encourage the player with one or two simple technical points and get him to work out the right feel for himself with some target practice. As the senior coach pointed out, with a player with so many technical errors and so little time to correct them, it's important to give the player the feeling he can work it out himself.

And it's this feel that's all important.

Nobody has time to think about all the body parts that go bowling the ball. Leg spinners, like all bowlers, need to create a 'blueprint' of what feels right in our mind so we can refer back to it.

Practice is the way to do this of course because the right practice helps bowlers work out these blueprints. It’s the best we have until we can scan the brain of top players and insert their blueprints into our brains in a Matrix "I know kung-fu" style. 

The right practice takes knowledge of what is ‘non-negotiable’ in an action, and what is flexible.

Coaches can help player's do this by working from a blueprint of the perfect technique and comparing that technique to what you are doing. Really good coaches know when to leave an imperfect technique that is working perfectly.

If you don’t have a coach then you can still learn the important parts of the blue print by enrolling on “Leg Spin: How to Defeat Your Mid-Career Crisis”. The online course features a whole chapter dedicated to finding your style as a spinner.

You can use the accompanying worksheet to make sure you get turn, dip and accuracy, without compromising your natural style.

You can’t glue feathers on to be more like a bird. You can’t slavishly copy an idol to be a better spinner. Learn for yourself and be more likely to succeed.

Click here to enrol now.