How to Improve Pace Bowling Technique during Preseason | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to Improve Pace Bowling Technique during Preseason

 We have all been to pre-season nets the seamers bowl bouncer after bouncer on flat and fast indoor pitches.

Whilst it is a great way to have fun, it has little if no relevance to the first few games that you are going to out on grass only 3 or so months later.

There is no use in bowling your fastest or most penetrative spell of the year in a session which comes months before the start of the season.

Many do this and then get frustrated in the season when they cannot recapture the feelings of the pre-season period.

With 4 months to go until the start of the season, the best work for bowlers is on their technical processes.

This ensures that when competition time comes round that their actions are repeatable and efficient. That is the underpinning of the delivery of the skills that are required to be successful.

So how do you do that in the limitations of winter nets?

Building technique: Four paced run up

Fast bowlers can bowl off 4 paces to isolate elements to enhance the bowling action during this period.

If a bowler is making some shifts to their action then it is nearly impossible to do this off of a full run and at full intensity. The 4 Pace approach is a perfect fit.

A reduced run up and less momentum into the crease will provide a good foundation to gain control of the body and cement that technical enhancement into place.

With 4 paces you can work on:

  • Alignment of the feet, hips and shoulders at ball release
  • Height of the bowling hand at bound strike (lower than the shoulders and moving forward)
  • Angle of approach, bound and delivery stride
  • Height of the bound (linked to point 2)
  • Pace of the run up (over 80% of fast bowlers run in TOO Fast)
  • Ability of the action to withstand forces on the back leg and front leg in delivery stride
  • Grip and release position
  • Swing type (away and in)
  • Variation deliveries
  • And a whole heap more.....

Progressing technique: Full run up

As a coach, I will only let bowlers move to a full run once they have demonstrated an ability to maintain a good action. This is to say consistently hold their movements together over a sustained period of time, even after introducing an element of fatigue into the session.

A technique that can be held over 4 steps under those tests is ready to be tested on a full run up.

Pace bowlers will be amazed at the pace that can be generated off of 4 steps as they find that they deliver more energy towards their target in a controlled and balanced fashion.

Incorporating into Nets

A normal net can easily work with a couple of bowlers operating off of shortened runs.

 Just a word of warning: A coach will have to keep his eye on the intensity levels as any fast bowler is a competitive being and will react to a batter taking liberties.

By working in this way, your fast bowlers will be fresh, technically sound and highly skilled in time for your 1st game of the season. 

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hy david i want to ask that when ever i ball my ball goes over batsman head like a beamer can u help me with this problem of how i can ball good to take wickets as well as my bowling can become good


From my experience there's three reasons for bowling beamers, after a long lay off anyway. Your wrist snaps upwards during release, you're releasing the ball too early or you aren't driving your chest through the crease and downwards. Focus on correct head position and on driving your chest forward and downwards as opposed to upwards like a javelin thrower and this might help you. Bowling over a braced front leg also rectifies problems with length. Bob Woolmer says a proper release should almost bowling like you're bowling down a slope or a flight of stairs. To simulate the feeling, try standing on a a staircase with a braced front leg and slowly drive through to the next step bring your right hip through(if you're a right handed bowler). This might help or might be complete drivel. You decide!

* almost feel like you're bowling

@Adarsh Nalam
I can see how that staircase drill could help with teaching you how to drive you right knee though the action, very interesting.

Saksham got some work to do if your bowling beamers every time you bowl.

Try and keep it really simple to begin with. Just let go of the ball later! If your bowling beamers your obviously letting it go WAY too early.

You could even try telling yourself to bowl a bouncer just to get started, just mentally delaying that release point. Imagine If you bowling arm was the minute hand on a clock don't let the ball go till it's past 12 (about 2 o'clock should be pretty good).

In my opinion after you've found a decent length then work on technicalities or your action. Number one priority not bowling beamers but hitting a good length instead.

Good luck.

I have a very similar issue - which I'm convinced is psychological.

I am a medium fast bowler and bowl very well in nets. However in recent months, every Saturday when I get out in the middle I am prone to bowling beamers. After bowling the first one (normally within the first couple of overs) I start to lose confidence very quickly. And therefore inevitably bowl more and more. Since they are beamers (not wides) I get warnings and have to come off. It's almost as if I completely lose control of the ability to bowl. If I immediately bowl in the nets after the innings I am fine.

This has become extremely difficult for me as I simply cannot understand why this is happening. I am 44 and have been bowling successfully for 3 decades. I have tried to strengthening my shoulder muscles but I don't think this is physical.

Any help or pointers will be much appreciated. I'm feeling rather low as my one skill has lost it's way.