Monday, October 31, 2011

Landmark post - No.1000! Review of the year

Tomorrow's the first day of November and last night the clocks adjusted for British winter time, so at some point pretty soon weve got to be plunged into the depths of winter surely? October has been pretty amazing in that there's been virtually no rain and it's been warm. Today it's been about 16 degrees and Sunday it was 19.5 degrees! But surely the cricket will have to stop at some point because of the cold?

This time last year I decided to work on my run up and action through the crease as I'd had a pretty poor year, aided by the fact that I was smacked out of the park at the start of the season for almost 11 an over by some first team bloke that went on to do the same almost with the other spinner Wayne (8.5 an over for him). The bloke went on to score in excess of 200, but psychologically I was damaged and that damage was then further exacerbated by the fact that I was seemingly dropped from the Sunday team at Grays despite the fact that I was one of the earliest payers of yearly subs and always paid my match fees! Over the following year I think I got 4 games. Around August when people start to wear a bit I got a couple of games, but by then I'd been getting a game about once a fortnight at my sons club B&PCC and they were suggesting I joined them the next season, so that's what I did.

Through October 2010 I worked with the run up, trying to get rid of the 'Tich Freeman skip' eventually through work with the Standstart drill I got it so that I was walking in kind of like Terry Jenner in his BBC videos, but there was still no dynamic aspect to it and I was still concerned that I'd be easy to play and there were still loads of issues. Winter came early last year - early December saw heavy snow and the winter turned out to be one of the worst on record with a long period through Dec/Jan? where there was snow on the ground for extended periods.

Over the winter indoors, my younger son Joe taught me how to bowl with the bound and as soon as the weather broke despite a fairly poorly knee (Twisted ligaments back in May 2010 playing cricket) I began to work with the bound, with pretty good results straight away within half an hour of trialling it for the first time over in the old tennis courts at The Rec Langdon Hills. I couldn't convert it that well to bowling in the nets for some reason, primarily with the slippery floor in the sports hall where we trained, so pre-season nets didn't really help out that much at all.

The knee injury for some reason flared up a bit and put paid to the bound for a while at the start of the season and scuppered my plans to bowl with the bound. I had a couple of matches where I was bowling with complete indecision as to whether I'd bowl with the bound or not and I seemed to have a dip in general core fitness which seems to be a re-occuring theme tied in with the bad weather that puts paid to practicing through Dec, Jan and Feb, so this year I'm making a mental note about core fitness training along with shoulders. The season has started off with a couple of matches for B&PCC where I didn't make that much of an impression and each week looking at the selections I was usually the 15th to 20th man, so never got a look in. I wasn't that bothered though as I was enjoying watching Ben and Joe playing in thier matches and having a knock about in the Paddock where gradually my fitness returned and my knee got better.

Having kind of reached match fitness again by August which seems to coincide with most peoples 'Burnt out' phase in their season and many of the players are away on holiday I assume I got a couple of matches. The bound still wasn't quite there and feeling the pressure of playing in League cricket which was new to me I reverted to the safer option of bowling off of a Terry Jenner walk-in. At the same time Liz Ward
on who is a bio-mechanist and physio introduced me to where I was able to upload my videos of my bowling and have them analysed by several qualified coaches giving me hints and suggestions as to what to tweek to get my bowling action improved. Again this kind of forced improvements over September once all the games had finished, so I'm probably bowling fairly well here and now in November!!!

Through September and early October the Liz Ward tweeks, which on the surface seem like only small things associated with parts of your body that you wouldn't readily expect to have a massive impact on your bowling, came together. That combined with some discussions on on 'Arm Speed' saw a dramatic change in the way the ball was released from my fingers in an organic development, rather than a forced and logic based development through the application of theory. Suddenly I was bowling with a lot more speed and spin and noticed that I was getting dip and drift and weirdly far better accuracy. With these developments the Tich Freeman Skip was consigned to the bin forever more.

So that's kind of it. Match -wise it was pretty indifferent, I took a few wickets, a couple of which were round the back of the legs coming over the wicket which were quite satisfying as this is something I've never done before and this is before the massive changes that have occured over Sept and October. It may be that I'm deluded and once in the nets in January I'll get a reality check and have to reflect on what might be going wrong, but sitting here on October 31st in pretty good post summer condition things look promising for next season.