What a TRAM And a Pair of Bowling Boots Will do to Your Fast Bowler's KPH | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

What a TRAM And a Pair of Bowling Boots Will do to Your Fast Bowler's KPH

We check fast bowling actions, wrist positions and are fastidious with their strength and conditioning.

Yet do we check their shoes?

In the world of lighter trainers, spiking up basketball boots and the insistence on all fast bowlers being able to run around the field quickly, the world of cricket has neglected the thing that the fast bowlers of past generations often speak about with intense passion; their feet and their shoes!

Australian Fast Bowler, Geoff Lawson and England Great, Andy Caddick were both religious in the maintenance of their most vital bit of kit.

A batter takes care of his most important piece of kit, the bat, so fast bowlers should look after theirs too; their boots and their feet.

Both fast bowling greats insisted on heavy and highly supportive high ankled bowling boots as they realised that their performance and health was largely determined by how their feet worked as they hit the crease.

With up to 10 times your body weight going up through the body, the spine in particular at point of release, it is vital that those highly significant forces are absorbed and dissipated to both positively influence the transfer of momentum up the body to save it from injury.

follow the TRAM rule of absorbing force by increasing the following points:

  • Time
  • Range
  • Area
  • Mass

The bigger the base of the boot, the more contact with the ground and more time is created to absorb those forces.

So the combination of a heel to toe strike followed by the whole heavy (mass) footplate of fast bowling boot on your having contact with the ground will increase the time for the force to be dissipated.

Add a pair or two of thick socks and you increase the area of the foot so that that force is absorbed.

With the forces being absorbed effectively by their heavy bowling boots and thick socks whilst spreading the impact across the full range of the footplate, a bowler is more likely to be able to stabilise their front leg.

This stabilised leg positively impacts on the pace of the ball as momentum is transferred up the legs and into the hips effectively. In order to transfer momentum into the hips, the legs need to decelerate and stabilise their movement before transfer.

So if you have got a bowler who should be quick yet doesn't snap their hips like a Brett Lee, Alan Donald or Dennis Lillee then:

  1. Firstly look at their footwear.
  2. Then promote a heel to toe strike on front foot land (if not already in evidence)
  3. Which in turn promotes the stabilisation of the Front leg and effective transfer of momentum into the pelvis/hips

See how that impacts upon ball pace. You could have a winner on your hands!

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Nice bit of advice Garas .Never focused on this part much as a bowler.

Sorry I'm confused. Is it good or bad to absorb the force? If you absorbed the force wouldn't that take away energy that could be transferred to the ball?

No, you have to absorb the 8-10 times your body weight on impact with the ground before you can use the ground forces to transfer momentum up the body by decelerating and stabilising the feet which sends momentum up the legs, when the legs decelerate and stabilise the momentum transfers and multiplies into the pelvis girdle and when that slows and eventually stops rotating, that momentum transfers into the trunk and so on and so forth until the ball is released from the hand. That is why a bowler running in a less than 25 mile per hour can release a ball at more than 90 mph.....transfer of momentum. Momentum is transfered from big muscle groups to smaller muscle groups (from the ground up) by decelerating and stabilising. Think of a whip.....the handle moves at a slower speed than the tip of the whip through the same process.

if you don't absorb the force effectively on landing then it has a negative effect on the role of the front leg (it has to bend and anything that is moving/bending is not stabilising which negatively impacts upon momentum transfer and therefore speed).

Is there a particular brand of bowling g boot on the market that meets the TRAM criteria? Also, unread somewhere how the high a ole boots as worn by bowlers and basketball players has caused ankle movement problems.

I tried a pair of javelin shoes for part of last season and they were quite good to bowl in. Light but plenty of support. I am a fan of mid cut basketball shoes too as they can be found in my size and the mid cut supports my ankles without impeding movement. Unfortunately most brands have adopted a fashion based (heavy and clunky) design of late but the I've found the and 1 brand good in the past.