Just as with the pace bowlers in a previous article, we are concentrating on drills and progressions in pre-season. This week it's the turn of the spinners.
Bowling from the Delivery Stride Drills
I ask spinners to bowl from a stationary position at the crease which enables the player to isolate a certain part of the action or a part of the technique. So get your bowlers to work from their delivery stride initially and once they can hold the action and the technical enhancements that you majoring on in your coaching.
Things to work on and observe in Delivery Stride Drills
Different alignments of the seam angle against the pitch to produce different spin results (top spin, maximum breaking ball, stock ball, arm ball, doosra)
Up and over shoulder rotation within the bowling action (some bowlers have a tendency to rotate their shoulders in a horizontal axis, this reduces the shape of the ball in flight)
Completion of the bowling action. Ideally, a spin bowler should find that their bowling hand completes the action around the opposite trouser pocket area. This is an indicator that a full and complete bowling arm circle has occurred. Many bowlers have a tendency to cut the bowling circle short and their bowling hand ends up near the bottom of the ribcage. This reduces the dip on the ball and often leads to a loss of control of length.
Appropriate flight. Shane Warne's mentor, Terry Jenner carried a "Spin bowlers kit" around in his bag. One part of that was a simple piece of rope that he would fix across the net and challenge the spin bowler to deliver the ball above the rope yet dip and land within a coned area on a length. If a bowler is rotating the bowling shoulder up and over (rather than round) and completing the bowling action to the opposite trouser pocket then there is a good chance of the ball being flighted from the hand, over the rope and down into the coned area on a length.
For a net session, the cones can be taken away and chalk areas applied to the indoor pitch or matted area to measure the flight of the ball in a net session. A batter can then be introduced to play against the spin bowler delivering from the crease
Once a spin bower has mastered this then a couple of steps are introduced and the results are assessed, if the technique holds up under momentum then the approach can be extended to incorporate a full run up.
Bowling from the Crease or a Couple of Steps in Nets
Just as with the fast bowlers last week, the stationary drill and then a couple of steps progression can be used within nets. The watchword again is to keep an eye on the competitive nature kicking as this can lead to technical breakdown.
The option here is to take the isolating technical focus away and work on delivery of skills (executing variations) or tactics (field setting/angle of delivery/getting batters off strike) or if the bowler is in danger of complete technical breakdown then take him out of the net and back into the drills above.
As preseason progresses, the bowler will be a more compete technical model who can adjust to the competition scenarios that we put in place, the personal battles with the batters and bowl your side to victory on a number of different surface types.