Part two of the “warm up to throw” programme is weighted ball work.
Before this section, run through last week’s J-band series in order to oxygenate the shoulder, work the shoulder from the inside out and generally prepare the shoulder and arm for some loading.
We can then run through a couple of ball routines that continue the strengthen, prepare and potentiate process. This will reduce injury and fast-track the technical fundamentals of throwing.
The first ball drill is:
The reverse throw
This is a brilliant drill.
So simple, aren’t they always the best ones?
All you need is a sand filled ball or two (different weights) and a wall. Alternatively you could have different cricket ball weights and a net.
The reverse throw basically gets the ball from the end position of the throw (end of follow through) back to the top of the throwing arm circle; effectively, it’s a throw in rewind!
We let go of the ball at the back of the throwing circle and it hits the wall or net before returning to our feet.
Have a look at the video and notice how a well practised Paul Tweddle (Somerset CCC’s fantastic Fielding Coach) gets the ball to return to his feet in comparison to a young cricketer trying it for a 1st time.
Why reverse throw for cricket?
Why do we do it?
Most throwing coaches focus on accelerating the cricket ball.
That's great, but the back of the shoulder needs to be able to accept force to produce extreme velocities. These reverse throws with a combination of 7oz, cricket ball weight and 4oz sand filled balls help to train the posterior shoulder and some thoracic spine mobility.
As we have talked about in previous articles, the shoulder is most vulnerable in deceleration phase of the throwing action. Effectively, all the muscle groups are working to try and stop the shoulder joint from following the ball back to the target. Ouch!
This drill will develop all of the muscle groups that keep us safe.
The other point is that we train the body to move fast and explosively.
The longer we take to get the ball from the ground to the end point of our preparation phase, the more time is wasted before we release it.
Inner circle fielding is largely about release time.
The quicker it’s away, the more chance of a run out.
This drill trains us to get from ground to top of throwing circle in an instant. We start with the normal weight ball then over train with the heavier balls before shifting to underweight ball which gets us used to moving incredibly fast (because we are shifting a lesser weight).
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