The complex discipline of sports biomechanics has some surprisingly simple suggestions to improve your batting.
It's often assumed that the skills of batting are natural. Although many aspects are down to talent, anyone can become more efficient by applying simple biomechanical principles to their game.
Balance at the crease, good footwork and timing have all been analysed by the experts in labs and translated by experienced coaches. The leader in this field for batsmen is Greg Chappell. You can read more about it in his book.
How to apply biomechanics in training
You don't need an advanced degree to apply these principles:
- Unweighting. As the bowler delivers the ball, your bat is raised in the normal way. This make the bat lighter for a fraction of a second as it reaches the top of your backlift. The timing of this is critical as pausing at the top reduces your efficiency in bringing the bat back down again. The easiest way to improve the timing of your backlift is to aim to bring the bat up and down in one movement as you play whatever shot it is. Additionally, the most efficient method to raise the bat is to just break the wrists, hardly using your arms and shoulders to do the work. There is very little need to use extra muscles.
- Cueing. It's impossible to watch the ball onto the bat at most speeds. Our eyes can't keep up. We compensate by making fraction of a second predictions as to what we think will happen based on cues from the ball, bowler and conditions. Mostly this improves with experience. You can help your own cueing by ensuring you are focussed on looking at the ball at the point of release and nothing else. In baseball research it was shown that players hit more balls when the ball had a mark on it that the player had to identify and focus on.
- Balance. As the bowler delivers the ball you have no idea where it is going and how you need to move. To improve your chances of getting into the right position your stances needs to allow you to be balanced to move either forward or back. This is best done by making sure your weight is on your back foot and you have slightly bent your knees to unweight your body as well as your bat. This way, you can move forward with little effort or transfer your weight to your front foot to be able to move back and across to a shorter ball.
Have you tried any of these methods? Leave a comment and enter the discussion.
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