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Bowling action help please


Cricket Spectator
Hi there my 10yr old son has been playing for a year or so now, he wants to progress into a team but been told until he can bowl an over without too many wides, then he won’t be able to play league cricket.
We have been working on drills at home to try and get the right action going without him falling away when bowling, does this seem like the right pattern to follow.
Drill 1: back foot on line, leading leg raised knee high, and non bowling hand high and in front of eyes, from that position then bowling, trying to ensure the leading foot is straight, head looking at wicket and ball released at highest point.

Drill 2:start with a leap forward then into drill 1 action above

Drill 3: walk it forward and then into drill 2 action

once it looks like he has all this down, we then practise a real run up and put all drills into action, but every time we do this he seems to not leap properly and then stop on the line and do his bowling, no follow through. We have been doing this for a couple of months now, but with the same result every time. Where am I going wrong, what can I do to help him get the right action. I’m not even bothered about him bowling straight right now, I feel like if he has the muscle memory action then everything else will just follow. Is this the wrong approach to take? Thanks


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If he can do drill 3 he should be able to bowl finger spin, so maybe that could be a quick (temporary) fix?

Son Of Coco

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I would break down the full run up into stages - e.g.: go off a couple of paces into full delivery. Then when he is doing this well, take him back a step or two more and into full delivery again. Repeat until he is at his normal run up.

Drill 1 is a lot to get right at the crease. I would be forgetting about 'back foot on line' and maybe some of the exact parameters you are setting at this stage and just worry about him getting to the crease. There's no way I could bowl with all that in my head. I was in a similar positon around his age and spent the winter bowling to my mum and uncle down our back laneway. Came back the next year and was much more accurate. I can't remember anyone giving me a list of items to tick off as I hit the crease though. I just bowled and worked it out. The issue with having this list of things to do is I can't see how he can possibly put this together anytime soon to improve his accuracy. I mean, if it is working at Stage 1, then maybe there is hope, but I'm not sure how long it will take on a full run-up to go from thinking about all these things he needs to do when he gets to the crease to just picking a spot on the wicket he wants to hit.


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if he looks like he has strong shoulders and wrists maybe legspin instead of finger spin
FMD dude there's blokes playing FC cricket who can't consistently land leggies. Sure he might progress to it but let's have him hitting the cut portion first


International Coach
I feel like there's too much structure with the drills. First just get him to run in and bowl as fast as he can and forget about form, accuracy, and technique. From then on, you can make adjustments to the length of the runup, arm position, type of delivery, etc.

When I started off I wanted to bowl spin, but my uncle taught me to first bowl pace properly and to keep it natural before I try anything fancy. It didn't take me too long to find a comfortable action and start bowling at a fairly good level before starting to tweak stuff with my action, runup, etc. It just worked better to get what feels natural done first and work from there.


Whatever it takes!!!
Something I have done in-game at school level cricket (U15 and U17) for bowlers in my team who could miss their direction easily, was to put my right leg way outside off-stump, so they could look at that during their load-up and even release (depending on their action) without changing much else. It worked 80% of the time with guys who used to spray it from right arm over the wicket.


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
'Run in and bowl as fast as [he] can' isn't going to work if his action has really bad mechanics.

The first drill is not as complex as you've made it sound IMO, but the timing needs to be right. Most high level quick bowlers have their arm near horizontal at shoulder height at front foot contact. If it's not then you may be teaching him go though his action too late. In my own experience this means the body is excessively tilted meaning you drag it off line and waste the energy in your torso.

A thing to check if he's stopping on the crease is that he might be developing a really bow-legged action, with the back leg bending excessively and the knee pointing backwards. This will produce a rather static action. You can bowl fast like this but it needs a 'slinging' arm action. There's also some suggestion that it could contribute to back injuries (though I don't think the researchers' own numbers are as conclusive as one of them would like to tell you). Ideally the back leg should be fairly stiff - this is best developed bowling on flexible surfaces like grass rather than concrete. On a hard surface the knee is inclined to bend to absorb the shock. This is much more easily corrected at a young age by the way.

I would also note that drill 2 may be an issue there. Steffen Jones (a well known English fast bowling coach) recently had a post on his IG mentioning consciously jumping up as leading to poor back leg shape at contact.

One thing you need to do if you're serious about improving his action is to film him bowling and step through it. You can only see so much at full speed and you can't look everywhere at once. Even if you don't know many of the specifics a simple comparison with a bowler with a simple, mechanically 'correct' action could reveal quite a bit (amongst current bowlers I'd suggest Anrich Nortje).
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Mr. Glass
FMD dude there's blokes playing FC cricket who can't consistently land leggies. Sure he might progress to it but let's have him hitting the cut portion first
i don't want him pitching one outside leg and hit top of off on day 1 ffs

start with basics like you usually do off one step and go from there

Son Of Coco

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
i don't want him pitching one outside leg and hit top of off on day 1 ffs

start with basics like you usually do off one step and go from there
Actually, I'm with you on this one. One of the often overlooked gifts of having a child is the opportunity to encourage them to do something that is incredibly difficult to do at a young age, like the violin or leg-spin bowling, and then sit back and enjoy the hilarity that ensues as they struggle to make sense of it.

At this point, there'd be a good year or two at least of laugh out loud entertainment as this young bloke bounces them off the roof; clatters them through the branches of surrounding trees; and hits himself in the back of the scone trying to land a leggie. All that is required to have a good time watching this is a comfortable fold out chair and an esky full of mid-strength.

The upside is you won't see a crow around your house for a decent length of time.

Kenneth Viljoen

International Debutant
If he's bowling wides on the off side , ask him to come around the wicket, change of angle can bring different perspectives..