This is a guest article from Max Andrews
Bracing up with your front leg after front foot landing is absolutely critical for exploiting maximum control, speed and spin.
We normally talk about this technical point with regards to fast bowling, so if you are unsure of the movement, click here to see it.
It is very difficult to land on a braced leg, especially if you have a lot of energy, and this would increase stress on your body.
Ideally you will land on a flexed front leg and then brace up, so at point of release your leg is braced. Push your front leg back up into your hip after you land. Your front leg will straighten after front foot landing. This will lead to better hip rotation, transferring all the forces from your stride into your upper body as you bowl.
How to brace the front leg when bowling spin
Here are a few drills that will really aid you in bracing your front leg.
- 1-step drill. Start with both hands out in front of your body. Push forward with both arms, as if you would when normally bowling. The main focus of this drill is to really focus on bracing up on your front leg after front foot contact. Practice this drill a lot. Initially it should feel very foreign to you and you should sense a very powerful leg straightening motion.
- Gather and bound drill: Jump forward off your front foot into your delivery stride. When you’re at front foot contact really work hard and focus on bracing up on your front leg at release and getting up and over your front leg.
- Run up drill: Once you are bracing your front leg in the 1-step drill and gather and bound drill move onto the run up drill. Here still focus on bracing up and making a really explosive movement.
These drills are effective to help you brace your front leg. Change between these drills to help your development. Begin with the momentum of one step and move to a few steps and a jump and eventually progress to your full run up.
Bracing the front leg is a crucial aspect of spin bowling. For some this will come easily and others may take longer to develop this skill. Spend time developing this aspect of your action and you should find you have greater control, speed and spin.
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