So, in the manner of professionals across all sorts professions and disciplines that require reflection in order to force and encourage improvement I've done a couple of things.
1. Peer review; I had a practice in the paddock last night and went about it in a particular way. I didn't warm up with a pre-bowl, I just went straight in as though the captain and had thrown me the ball in a game and said "It's your spell now". I bowled 75 balls one after another and video'd it - the good, bad and the ugly. I then edited only the walking back to my mark sequence and then uploaded the vid over night to Youtube and here it is...
In less than 24 hours I've had a number of responses to it, some of which is very insightful. I've also just loaded it up to my Google + page and asked for Stuart Macgill to have a look at and comment on it with the idea that he may be able to give me some additional advice or tips.
2. Reflective practice; This is where you look at what you do, how you do it and analyse if there are ways in which you can make improvements. I use this at work in a couple of situations. I have to reflect on what I do as a part of my professional development and practice and like many people do this in a formal way at least once a year. But I also do it in a less formal way and use it more frequently to review my practice at key points in the year in my job as a photography lecturer. But I also use it in conjunction with the students work. I and my colleagues get them to use this model to review their own work at key stages and it actually works.
The model we use is the Gibbs model...
How it's used...
Simply write up the headings starting at the top and work round the headings writing up a response. A few sentences is usually sufficient, but different people approach it in slightly different ways...
Description What happened?
Having prepared the paddock, I took the opportunity to have a bowl. I decided to not warm up with an over or two, but went straight into it bowling 75 balls one after another with no rest. This was to test how fit I am and whether I've got any stamina at 52 years old.
Feelings What were you thinking and feeling?
I was relatively positive, because I've been doing a little exercise here at home and I feel relatively fit and healthy and the bowling I did in the winter nets wasn't that bad. In addition towards the end of last season, I'd begun to tie down how it was I was going to run-up and approach the crease.
Evaluation What was good and bad about the experience?
Good aspects included the fact that I didn't get that tired. Others included the fact that my wrong-un comes out well and looks to be fairly accurate and consistent. Another is that my arm seems to be coming over at speed, with a lot more energy than the last couple of years and yet there are no indications that I'm straining the my shoulder. Bad, included the first 6 balls were very messy and a high proportion of the balls went leg-side throughout the 75 deliveries. Reading the feedback on Youtube, one of the things I am doing which is a negative aspect is that I'm not running in straight and therefore the energy is not being 100% directed at the target.
Analysis What sense can you make of the situation?
In comparison with last year at this time, there's a considerable difference and it appears that the recommendations that people have made through reviewing my videos has made a difference for the better. There have been people that have said at different times that I try and do too many things in these training sessions and that I should focus on one or two aspects that my have an affect that is positive.
Conclusion What else could you have done?
Maybe get in the zone slightly more and bowl with more focus, without getting wound up and tense. I could have had a wicket keeper or someone look at the bowling and feeding back there an then, but only Joe would do that and he's a bit young to keep to me at this stage.
Action Plan If it arose again what would you do?
In the next session I'm going to put a target down which wont get knocked out of the way if the balls hit it and I'm going focus on the following aspects...
1. Out of the bound land with the foot side-ways to get the body side-on.
2. Have the leg coming through rather than swining around the pivot foot.
3. Regulate the length of the run-in by putting a marker down and work on trying to keep everything straight going towards the target.
Hopefully I'll get this done tomorrow night.
Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.