How deliberate is your bowling practice? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How deliberate is your bowling practice?

Recently I arrived early for a net session and a young left arm seamer was there alone bowling at the stumps.

I watched him for a few minutes and his length seemed to vary quite a bit. As I knew him quite well I wandered up and asked him where he was aiming to pitch the ball.

Surprisingly he wasn't quite sure.
He was just running up and wanging it down.

I had some flat marker discs in my bag so together we walked down to the striker's end and put down a couple of discs to mark out the area he was aiming for.

The front one was slightly fuller than a good length, the back one slightly back of a length.

like this:

He then had a crudely marked area to aim at.

And it immediately improved his accuracy.

OK, he wasn't suddenly putting every ball on the spot, but it was clear he was hitting the target area more regularly mainly because he had a target area to bowl at!

And that is the difference between practice and deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice vs. plain old practice

Practice doesn't help you get better; it just stops you from getting worse. But that's what most club and school players do all the time.

On the other hand, deliberate practice gets you to improve.

Deliberate practice is designed with a specific goal and you can get instant feedback on that goal allowing you to make adjustments until you get it right.

And for bowler's that means the dull repetition of running up and trying to hit a target again and again.

It's not fun, it's not easy but it works.
And most people won't bother doing it.

So imagine how much better at bowling your team would be if every bowler did more deliberate practice. Like for example what club leg spinner Dave is doing here to improve his leg spin accuracy. (Dave took up leg spin late in life but has taught himself to be a good leggie purely by deliberate practice).

One easy way to motivate players (or yourself) to do more is to show how the practice is working over time.

You could log every ball with a pen and paper, but that can be time consuming and inaccurate unless you do it in pairs. Or you could use PitchVision to track every ball automatically and send the results to a laptop or mobile phone (via Bluetooth). Over time, PitchVision builds up a picture of how fast and accurate you are bowling.

Instant feedback and long term results tracking.

In other words, the perfect tool for deliberate practice.

If you want to know more about PitchVision for your club, school, Academy or organisation, contact Neil Fairbairn to arrange a demo.

image credit: Alasdair Middleton

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that is a great tip which i have got from you and it has helped me to gain a lot and suddenly i have become accurate and now i can work on variations and look to increase my pace with compromising my line a nutshell this idea can produce it is breet lee blended with glen mcgrath---. thankyou sir-bhaskar

i have a problem with my bowling arm having abend in it. i think it is because my head goes away from my body and then my arm and wrist compensate by bending (the arm) and by angling down the leg side. when i do try to bowl with a straight arm and a with my head staying straight, i lose a lot of pace. is thare a way to increase pace but solve my problem. btw im 13 years old and play at county level. im an all rounder that bowls front on (medium-fast). im ready and prepared to adapt or change my action if neccessary.

There was an article about this issue not too long ago. Look around the website or maybe Dave can point you to the right place.

In my view, you are better of correcting the problem now, before it goes on any further. You may need to get one of those elbow braces and bowl with that in training to get used to the stright arm.

Cheers what was the article called

I have a question about international cricket pitches. If you get lots of turn on all types of pitches at 14 years of age will you be able to get as much turn on international cricket pitches (if you ever get there) ?