Friday, November 7, 2008

in a spin

We have recently completed a hectic 5 weeks of "live in" clinics at home in Adelaide. During that time four coaches from England and three leg spinners, also from England plus two from New Zealand attended.
The ECB sent Chris Brown and Andy Siddle for two weeks and they worked with the two NZ boys and one boy from Dorset in England, under my guidance.
The second pair of coaches and leg spinners were sponsored by the ECB and Brian Johnston Memorial Trust.
Former England off spinner Peter Such was accompanied by Richard Wilkins of Yorkshire as coaches of the second pair of leggies, also with my guidance.
All coaches commited to their respective programs and definitely benefited from their time here in Adelaide.
The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust support for this program has been ongoing for almost 10 years now and it is fair to say the rewards are shown by the number of young wrist spinners being contracted to English Counties.
"Johnners", a lover of spin bowling and in particular leg spin would be delighted to know his generosity is reaping these rewards and it is quite possible he is looking down from above with a huge smile on his face.
I deliberately do not name the boys for fear of adding unecessary pressure to them during their period of development.
Suffice to say the standard of young English wrist spinners is getting better and better.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Five ways to keep it simple

I often get asked by coaches and parents "what should I look for?"

Below are five simple parts of the action to look for whilst the spinner is bowling.

It is not possible to look at all five at the same time so my encouragement is to work from the bottom up or the top down during a bowling session.

Make a note of any variances from the five and then discuss with the spinner.

Simple coaching:

Align shoulders & hips toward target

Lead with front arm toward target. Pull down.

Bowl "up and over" with shoulders

Pivot- rotate shoulders 180 degrees

Complete action with bowling shoulder facing target, with bowling hand to left hip and front arm "out the back'.

Run up/approach

Whilst the approach is an indvidual thing, too many spinners have run ups which are either too angled or too straight. If it is too angled then when the spinner arrives in the crease the tendency is to pull the front arm to the side diminishing rotation and affecting the amount of spin. If the approach is too straight the tendency is to jump in at the crease causing the delivery stride to be closed off. Again this causes the front arm to pull to the side or encourages the bowling arm to become too high, both lessening the degree of spin obtained.

Look at Cameron White and you will see what I mean.

Below are some tips which can successfully be used when assisting a spinner with his/her run up/approach.

Fit run up into delivery stride

Slightly angled approach

'Twitch' into side-on position one step prior to jump (bound)

Run up/approach is for rhythm and balance

Slight lean forward an advantage

Long strides better for rhythm than short steps

Focus on target at commencement of approach


Reverse chaining from the delivery stride, maintaining spin along the way, is a good method to discover the ideal approach.

If the spin stops, the run up is possibly too long, so move forward until spin returns.