A young Bowlers problem
We have a young bowler at my club that had an incredible season last year, in our 3rds taking 29 wickets. He was promoted to our 2nds this season but is yet to take a wicket. During conversations with him last night, he is wanting to remodel his action and change the length of his run up, to try to correct his lack of wickets.
I suggested to him it was only a confidence issue and if he were to take a couple of wickets, this weekend, he would be back to just bowling and would forget about the self doubt and over analyses.
Obviously he is bowling at better batters and the leg side wides are in play, in this division. Have any of you had to try to convince a player his action is still good but, it is down to a lack of confidence. How did you deal with this?
It's a tough one. I guess there's no single right way to do it as a lot will depend on the personality of the bowler and those around him in the team. Ideal world (for me) is that I'm keeping wicket to them on the Saturday/Sunday games and can give the encouragement that's needed.
You are almost certainly right, I'd reckon - it will just take wickets and bring confidence. The only thing I tend to see technically when players are low on confidence is lacking follow throughs because there's a lack of belief in the action.
Be lucky to get a game on Saturday, mind...
The lad has his talent otherwise you'd not have him playing to the next level. I get players like this to work out if its in their heads first and foremost - trying too hard and losing their own game execution.
Before he destroys his current action, he has to give away control to gain it. Sounds strange but he has to get out of his own way to be able to bowl what he really can. Its a mental trick that golfers have used for ages but I've taken it into cricket with a few laughs to start with but results have followed v v v fast.
Get the lad to chat to me.
Changes his action should be avoided [unless its "mixed"]
Run up with youngsters should be reassessed in pre season [as a minimum] EVERY season.
The reason is simple / obvious, as they grow bigger and stronger, so their stride will lengthen - usual sign is increase in f/f no-balls.
I use the Dennis Lillee method to establish - needs to be 1-2-1 or 2, 3 max.
Get them to run up and bowl, starting on the popping crease, running away from the wicket [must be fully warmed up first so that running stride has reached optimum - ground must be flat too].
Ask them to do this with eyes closed and no ball in hand, just using mental visualisation of delivery.
Coach to drop a golf-tee down where their f/f lands.
Player keeps doing this until they've achieved consistency to get 6 tees within the spread of your hand [about six inches]
Translate that marker to align to a straight approach to an over the wicket delivery point runnning back the other way [normal direction].
Next get them running in to bowl [eyes open, ball optional] from this marker observing f/f / popping crease position - anywhere between toe and foot arch breaking the crease is fine but I wouldn't want it to be the back half of the foot [to close for growth].
Again repeat until consistency is apparent and rhythm is present
Introduce a ball and place a cone on the ideal pitch-point
Check for speed and accuracy
Check for follow through
Usually takes 45 mins per players but I only do this with the frontline seamers - 4 or 5 max
Repeat next pre-season or with new players or if persistent f/f no-ball arises
Last and most important piece - from the bowling crease, get them to mark out distance using normal steps so that they can consistently put down their bowling marker in the correct / same place. For bowlers with a long run up this is harder - I carry a builders 30 metre tape measure in my coaching bag and we can measure it out before play and pop a golf tee in the ground - helps with confidence and consistency.
The key is that the bowler MUST feel comfortable in their run up - this will take out all the issues arriving in to the delivery stride, freeing their mind to concentrate on the tactics of each delivery.
Good luck ...