• Welcome to the Cricket Web forums, one of the biggest forums in the world dedicated to cricket.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join the Cricket Web community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

Can you coach pace?

Blenkinsop

School Boy/Girl Captain
I've often heard it said that raw pace is something that you either have or you don't, and that it's not possible to develop it through coaching. Is that true? If so, why would that be so? Is it that people who can bowl fast have some sort of physiological difference from the rest of us? There are recognised techniques that can be learned for almost all other aspects of the game, so why not bowling quicker?

I turned 50 this year and my pace is exactly the same as it was when I was 20 -- military medium. Over the years I've tried running in faster, jumping higher, bending my back, flexing my wrist more -- none of it makes much difference.
 

Starfighter

Hall of Fame Member
From what I've read you can coach better technique which will help people improve their pace somewhat (although the results always seem to be variable), especially before physical maturity (it gets much harder to correct ineffective technique later), but being able to bowl genuinely fast requires the right genetics.
 

Blenkinsop

School Boy/Girl Captain
I'm not so much talking about genuinely fast, 90mph+ bowling, I can see why you'd have to be a freak of nature to do that. But it puzzles me why your average county trundler can wang it down consistently at 80mph without undue effort, whereas the vast majority of us low-level club cricketers probably struggle to hit 65mph even if we have outwardly similar run-ups, actions and so on. That can't be down to genetics, surely, but what?
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
I'm not so much talking about genuinely fast, 90mph+ bowling, I can see why you'd have to be a freak of nature to do that. But it puzzles me why your average county trundler can wang it down consistently at 80mph without undue effort, whereas the vast majority of us low-level club cricketers probably struggle to hit 65mph even if we have outwardly similar run-ups, actions and so on. That can't be down to genetics, surely, but what?
Not being insulting but the talent differential between a county “trundler” and a park cricketer is massive

There’s about 1 million registered cricketers in the world and another 50 million or so play casually

You have to be seriously good to be paid to play
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
Anyway, to answer your question, history shows that coaching/technique improvement is not enough to produce dramatic improvements

The highest profile case of a bowler going from military medium to serious pace that I can remember is Ryan Harris and that had nothing to do with coaching

He was simply pain free for the first time in years
 

Flem274*

123/5
can't agree social.

shane bond and lockie ferguson were both club dibbly dobblies who got seriously quick. a less extreme example is mitchell mcclenaghan who went from slow to a few brief years clocking a respectable 140kph.

bond credits time away from the game with police training, and ferguson got some specialist technique coaching from simon doull.

i don't think it shows anything conclusive on nature v nuture, but it does show a lot of club bowlers top end pace is never realised. both have had more notable careers than adam milne, who bowled thunderbolts at a real 17 years of age but was probably pushed too far too early and became constantly injured.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
can't agree social.

shane bond and lockie ferguson were both club dibbly dobblies who got seriously quick. a less extreme example is mitchell mcclenaghan who went from slow to a few brief years clocking a respectable 140kph.

bond credits time away from the game with police training, and ferguson got some specialist technique coaching from simon doull.

i don't think it shows anything conclusive on nature v nuture, but it does show a lot of club bowlers top end pace is never realised. both have had more notable careers than adam milne, who bowled thunderbolts at a real 17 years of age but was probably pushed too far too early and became constantly injured.
There is always an exception to the rule but I can guarantee you that Shane Bond never bowled dibbly dobblies as there would have been one ball every now and again that was a rocket
 

Flem274*

123/5
There is always an exception to the rule but I can guarantee you that Shane Bond never bowled dibbly dobblies as there would have been one ball every now and again that was a rocket
nope, both bond and his canterbury contemporaries like mcmillan are on record as saying he was a proper medium pacer. never stood out at any level. im not even sure if he made his schools first eleven (a similar fate to chris martin).
 

Blenkinsop

School Boy/Girl Captain
Bhuvi also increased his pace from 125 when he started out to occasionally touching 140.
Yes I remember Bhuvi as a proper old-school trundler and I was surprised to see him reborn as a proper fast-medium bowler.

Talking of which, I didn't see his name in the Indian squad for the summer Tests in England. Does he not play Tests any more? I'd have thought he would be lethal in English conditions.
 

srbhkshk

International Vice-Captain
Yes I remember Bhuvi as a proper old-school trundler and I was surprised to see him reborn as a proper fast-medium bowler.

Talking of which, I didn't see his name in the Indian squad for the summer Tests in England. Does he not play Tests any more? I'd have thought he would be lethal in English conditions.
Selectors and the management have decided his body is too fragile to be playing tests.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
nope, both bond and his canterbury contemporaries like mcmillan are on record as saying he was a proper medium pacer. never stood out at any level. im not even sure if he made his schools first eleven (a similar fate to chris martin).
Probably late physical developer

Starc was a short wk until 16

McGrath was an opening batsman until same age

Anthony Davis was a point guard at 16 before growing 9 inches in a year

etc

Chris Martin was a good bowler never really quick
 

Blenkinsop

School Boy/Girl Captain
Not such an extreme example but Chris Woakes was written off for years as being too slow for international cricket. He went away and found a couple of extra yards of pace from somewhere.
 

honestbharani

Whatever it takes!!!
I suppose there is a middle ground here in that if you dont have it in you physically to bowl consistently at 140+, then it can't be coached into you. At the same time, it is very possible that coaches can help you get the most speed you can out of your action and body. I dont see why it has to be mutually exclusive.
 
Last edited:

social

Hall of Fame Member
I suppose there is a middle ground here in that if you dont have it in you physically to bowl consistently at 140+, then it can't be coached into you. At the same time, it is very possible that coaches can help you get the most speed you can out of your action and body. I dont see why it has to be mutualy exclusive.
This is true
 

Flem274*

123/5
Probably late physical developer

Starc was a short wk until 16

McGrath was an opening batsman until same age

Anthony Davis was a point guard at 16 before growing 9 inches in a year

etc

Chris Martin was a good bowler never really quick
bond was always tall. as i said, he credits the police for getting some fitness and bulk on him 20-25 years old
 

Top