Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Because of my knackered leg, I've been flicking the ball in the manner that is required watching the seam presentation over short distances making sure that it is rotating perectly 90 degrees to it's direction going forwards. The more I do it the more for me purposely I have to bowl with the feeling that I am almost bowling with the wrist turned so far round clockwise it feels as though I'm bowling with a Karate Chop action. On my youtube channel I've had several people ask me for advice primarily relating to the Googly Syndrome where they've lost the ability to get the ball to break towards Off and their Leg Breaks either do not turn or turn towards Leg (Googly). The easiest remedy for this is to not bowl the Googly anymore and work with this feeling that you're turning your wrist so far round that it feels like you're bowling with a Karate Chop action. Possibly as a hang-over from my Googly Syndrome days this is the modus operandi that I still have to follow in order to get the ball to turn big. In order to do this I find that I really have to focus and concentrate exceptionally hard on my fingers in order to flick the ball from the hand and have the wrist in what feels like a karate chop position. When I do it, it comes out very well and this was the case a few days ago and since then I've been bowling non-stop with this kind of action.
The thing that still surprises me with the Leg Break is the complexity of it and the difficulties that some people like myself have with bowling it and the ease that others bowl it with. Having said that the majority of people that do bowl the leg-break have only a rudimentary grasp of its potential because they basically stick with the stock ball and a limited number of variations, keeping the whole thing really simple and allowing themsleves to develop their stock ball to a good level. Having said that though I've only ever seen 2 or 3 good Leg break bowlers and attempts at discussing the finer issues of their actions with them have drawn a blank because they have become Leg Break bowlers it seems through natural ability.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I wandered over there a little later as I spotted a council worker in there wearing a high vis jacket and for a moment I thought that perhaps they were looking at the fence with a view to replacing it. In the end it was the street cleaner bloke that cleans our estate and I had a chat with him about litter and stuff and people that let their dogs crap everywhere, including inside the paddock where the kids play. It was kind of refreshing to find someone else that shared my opinion that a dog is an animal and not a pseudo human being with the same rights as us! I wont go into that though otherwise I'll have the bloody RSPCA coming round and questioning me and putting me in prison for not sharing their warped views. (I blame it all on Johnny Morris).
So, anyway whilst there looking at the grass I thought I'd take the opportunity to give it a going over whilst it was still fairly short and then once I'd done that, with the knowledge that we're currently on a bit of a long run of dry weather which may catch me off guard. I thought I'd give it a going over with the roller and the results can be seen below............
I've been contemplating having the stumps up this end this season (Above), but the fence directly behind me from where this was shot is knackered and can't be easily repaired. We stuck the stumps up and measured it and it works okay as the run up area at the other end is just short of the 'Good Length' zone if we then started to utlilise the other end later in the year which we would need to. But, the fence is such a big issue it doesn't look as though we will bat at this end.
This is the end we'd have the stumps and probably will again this year. As you can see I'd given it a roll and it's coming along nicely. I wont be able to see how flat it really is till we lower the blades on the Ransomes Ajax lawn mower. That will then expose the lumps and bumps and then we have to wait for a wet period and then go over it properly with the roller when it's wet. The main thing I did today was roll down the centre along the bowling line and a little wider on the on-side where I pitch my Leg Breaks.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Another good day. The knee felt good this morning with the impression that it's getting better. We then went to Decathlon and I bought a Knee brace to wear once I start bowling and practicing again. I went through the bowling action wearing it in the shop and it felt good.
This afternoon, what with it being a blue sky sunny spring day we went over the Rec Tennis courts and had a knock about. Joe bowled well, taking three wickets and I took one. I bowled taking it easy - virtually standing still and bowling wearing the support and I'm okay this evening. If anything it would have been the running that was the most problematic, but I hobbled through the running and seem to have survived that as well.
Had a look at the Paddock today and thought about giving it a mowing. The grass seed that was put down last week hasn't shown yet as expected and will be another 10 days or so yet I reckon. This last week has been horrible - cold and foggy for the most part, so today with the sun out and blue sky meant that the temperature lifted to 10 - 12 degrees. Hopefully this will encourage germination of the seeds and general growth of the grass helped by a whole day of heavy rain yesterday. What with it being so soggy, there wasn't any chance of getting the mower out and I'll leave it a little longer before I bring out the roller again. In the meantime, there's loads of football being played in the paddock which isn't that helpful, but generally it's looking okay.
I need to buy some more seed as I mentioned last week and keep seeding on a regular basis. I noted today that both the squares at Langdon Hills and Herongate have both been cut, so I'm on schedule it seems with my own attempts at pitch maintenance. I'll try and get some seed tomorrow as it's expected to rain for much of the day.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
But, now with the new bowling action and it being a lot more dynamic the knee issue has become more pressing. The new action sees me come out of the bound with the right foot planted side on to facilitate a good rotation, which I guess must put some additional pressure on the knee joint as this is a wholly new physical action for my knee. In addition after the pivot and release of the ball, my follow through is an awful lot faster and more vigorous than previously and this is no doubt putting more pressure/impact on the knee? As a result I'm getting knee soreness at new levels and after bowling Sunday with the kids and then again for 2 hours at nets I've been hobbling around like an old man since and only now 48 hours later I'm beginning to feel slightly better. All of which is a bit worrying. So I reckon I may not bowl this weekend and I may give bowling in the nets a miss on Monday night and may only bat. I'm thinking I'll possibly do this for a couple of weeks and see how it goes, but it's definitely a concern and if the soreness persists I'll have to get to a Doctor and get it checked out.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
You can pick out the fact that I've put down some top dressing as it's the brown colour. As soon as I'd finished the rain came down again which is good as it'll get the grass off to a good start.
Joe in the next net was doing very well with his Leg Breaks turning them big outside of Leg and getting them to come in through the gate or across the body to hit off or middle and off impressing the blokes that were coaching him. I've also noticed that as Joe bowls these days he's more up on the ball of his foot and swinging his leg round the pivot leg. We've got a ball as well that Joe uses that's got a nice seam on it and I reckon that helps him and offers real encouragement.
Overall both Joe and Ben did quite well as we move towards the start of the season.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
To be continued.......
Later; I went over and had a look as my lads were playing football in the paddock and realised that the grass was in fact pretty dry and not that long and could potentially be cut. I couldn't tempt them to go and play cricket over at The Rec (Tennis courts) and was at a bit of a loose end and thought I'd get the mower and see if I could cut the grass and sure enough as you can see below it was okay.
Additionally once I'd cut the grass I had a better sense of how uneven and lumpy the wicket was and decided that I would roll it after all. All in all considering I wasn't going to do this at all this weekend and was going to chance it after the next rain fall, I'm quite pleased that I got it done now. The only thing I really need to do is get some seed down, which I may do tomorrow.
As you can see my kids and their mates were on there today playing football and this is an on-going problem that I just have to live with and it's getting worse as each year there seems to be more and more kids getting in there and using it and they're all getting bigger by the year causing more damage. I'll just to have to see how it goes.
After the rolling and mowing I was going to go and have a bowl on my own, but I managed to persuade Joe and Ben and their mates to go over to the old tennis courts as the Rec and have a bit of a knock about. Ben and his mate Kieran were up for beating their current record of a 28 run partnership, but I limited it to 9 runs and the best partnership of the day ended up being Mine and Bens with a new record of 32 runs at which point I declared. In this scenario Ben usually comes away with the best bowling figures taking the most wickets, but he batted throughout this session with no-one getting him out and what with him not bowling I came home with the best results having taken 3 wickets! Mostly edges to Joe behind as wicket keeper.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Monday, March 07, 2011
Liz Ward is a Strength and Conditioning Practitioner operating in and around Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Suffolk with a mission to change the way cricketers train for the sport; introducing biomechanics, fitness, psychology and nutrition.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Over the winter I continued to work with the stand start and having taught my older son Ben to bowl with a bound when he was bowling off the wrong foot, I realised that there was some hope that I may be able to work with the bound and develop it over the winter and into the pre-season preparation. My younger son Joe who is a Wrist Spinner as well helped me out initially with the basics of the action and got me on my way and week or so ago at this same venue I spent an hour practicing with it. The following week I bowled with the action in the nets and that was okay too. So with 3 hours of practice with this new action I took the camera out with me yesterday and video'd where I am with it now.
There's a far better quality version on Youtube here.......
Thursday, March 03, 2011
This image above is shot from the usual bowling end, and the stumps would be situated in line with the goal posts at the other end. I'm contemplating as detailed below having the stumps at this end this year later in the season once we've wron out the far end.
Here you can see where the stumps normally are and you can see that the seeds that where sewn have been sucessful and the general growth of the grass has recovered. I'll sow some more possibly this weekend as the weather prospects are slightly better this coming week.
This shot is looking down towards the bowling end from where the stumps are situated. The ideas is that the stumps at the new end later in the year will be right up against the fence. This will allow us to bowl from a position some yards in front of the stumps and not over-wear the wicket in the area where we'd normally pitch the ball. The grass in the middle of our usual wicket is pretty uneven and if we end up bowling and walking-in around that area the wear and tear may facilitate a more productive repair process next October?
As mentioned above what with it being March, I am looking to get some seed down as soon as possible, on the basis that the weather has got to break soon and a run of good, warm and sunny weather being imminent. I want the seed down and growing because we’re planning not getting in there till May to actually use it. Having said that though the small boys that have been using it over the last couple of years for football are all going to be a bit bigger and potentially more into their football, so there’s a chance that they’re going to damage it more this year? That aside the preparation plans are being made so that we don’t actually get in there till May. Last year we started in April and because the ground was damp still and the grass cover still fairly thin, it sustained a lot of wear and tear early in the season. We’re just looking to get a couple of good months out of it through May and June and then review the potential for changing the ends, as the last couple of years we’ve had the stumps at one end only. This has meant that the wear and tear at the bowlers end has been so heavy that it’s been impossible to bowl down that end, but the repairs and leveling that was done in September and the fact that we’re slowly extending the length of the strip means that an end swap may be possible?