The first in this series used a piece of string as a guide for foot placement in the approach. This is one of the major causes of the back foot sweeping under the body and causing misalignment at the crease.
However, if the feet are landing nicely in the approach and you still note that BFC (Back Foot Contact) is misaligned then the following drills, placed on top of the string based run up drill, will close the deal.
It is vital that the bowler has a comprehension of what she looks like when her BFC is misaligned and the knock on effect taken into her delivery stride. In order to do this, you can use a mirroring approach.
This can either be demonstrated by simulating the bowling action towards a mirror or get the to bowl over the top of a camera on a low tripod placed a 2 metres beyond the crease.
I have started what I call the "stuntman" camera position by filming from a prone position on the floor with my iPad (again, 2 metres in front of the bowling crease). This gives a great angle.
If you don’t feel confident that the bowler will be able to bowl the ball over the top of you then use a tennis ball instead of cricket ball.
This image will give the bowler awareness of their present position and she will be working her own solutions to the problem even before direct intervention.
2. Intervention pole work
Intervention poles are brilliant. They train the bowler towards their back foot and front foot target at the crease by blocking the movement that you don’t want to see (in this case, the sweeping of the back foot under the line of the body).
The great thing about intervention poles is that you can start them in an unobtrusive position to build up bowler confidence of the drill intention and then bring them in gradually to up the challenge at an appropriate time.
Once the drill has been practised for a while then you can take the poles away to see how the new technique stands up in an open environment. If it stands up then crack on, if not then it's perfectly OK to revert back to the drill until the bowler feels confident to test the skill under open conditions once more.
Here is an example of some intervention pole based work from Simon Francis (a brilliant ECB Level IV Coach) who works out of Warwick School in England:
Intervention poles can be used for a number of bowling drills (both spin and pace) are relatively inexpensive and highly portable (Indoor and outdoor use).
If you build athlete awareness by showing the Stuntman video angle and support the bowler's learning through use of the intervention poles- which train the intention to stay aligned from take off to follow through - then a misaligned BFC can soon become a distant memory.
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