We often talk about video analysis of bowling actions and the importance of building your understanding and awareness of your bowling action as you look to develop and improve.
Lots of people use video analysis, some do it well and others miss opportunities. The reason? Footage from poor angles.
Here is my guide to filming bowling actions on your mobile phone.
Behind the action
This is a great angle to film from with a mobile phone. Position yourself 4 metres back from the bowlers end middle stump and hold the phone still.
Ask the bowler to stand in the crease with bowling arm extended and try and keep the ball release in shot. This calibrates the camera and gives the photographer the confidence that they are not going to miss the ball release.
Start the camera as the bowler begins their approach.
Maintain the position of the camera as you will be able to see the last couple of strides in the approach, the bound and the bowling action from this angle.
When reviewing your footage the things to look for from this angle are:
- Angle of approach into bound strike (last foot striking the ground ahead of jump).
- Use of arms in the approach and into bound
- Angle of jump into back foot contact at the crease
- Role of the arms in the bound
- Alignment of feet in delivery stride (back foot contact and front foot contact)
- Degree of back leg collapse
- Posture prior to and at release (look for curvature of the spine at release)
- Angle of bowling arm at release
- Follow through angle
This is also a great angle. Ensure that the bowlers chest and face rather than back and back of the head is viewable in their bound or in other words, get the right side!
Do the same calibration exercise before the bowler runs in and bowls so you do not miss anything at ball release.
You have the option of filming statically - focussing solely on the delivery - or to track the bowler into their delivery stride. This allows you to pick up vital info from the approach and bound as well as the action itself.
If you are tracking the bowler then position yourself 4 metres back from the line of the stumps. Ensure that you are perfectly square.
If filming statically then you can position yourself slightly closer on the same angle.
What to look for from the side on angle:
- Arms in the approach and bound
- The width of the stride leading into the jump
- Degree of back let collapse
- Degree of front leg collapse
- Path of the bowling arm through delivery stride
- Effectiveness of the front arm (particularly relevant to fast bowlers)
- Angle of hips, shoulders at key points of the action
- Effectiveness of the follow through
The scary angle: front on
If you are brave enough, this is a great final angle. Use a tennis ball rather than a cricket ball!
Kneel on the floor 5 metres in front of the crease and slightly to the leg side of a virtual right hand batter.
Calibrate the camera with the bowler at release position ahead of them running in.
Ask the bowler to bowl normally and bowl the ball over the height of the camera and to the off stump.
Duck if needs be!
From this angle you get that close up only seen on TV.