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coaching spin bowling

By Peter Such

The aim of coaching spin bowling is to make a difference to the end product. Firstly, you have to establish what the goal is.

In my mind, it has always been to bowl the perfect off break (see article the perfect offspin delivery )

The perfect off break drifts away in the air from the right handed batsman and drops or dips in flight, pitching outside the off stump and turning in to hit the top of the off stump.

Basic processes in bowling orthodox off spin

Having established what we are trying to achieve we now need to isolate the processes that go in to this, which can be summed up as

a consistent repeating action that maximizes spin and control.

Breaking this down further, quality orthodox off spin is underpinned by the common basics of:

A Side on Action (see article the mechanics of finger spin bowling )

Foot alignment at the crease (see article the mechanics of finger spin bowling )

Coaching the wrist into the right position at release

When coaching off spin, I like to start from the release backwards.

The process that goes before release should all be geared to consistently producing an action that allows the wrist to be in the right place at release, a position that keeps the seam upright and slightly angled towards leg slip. This is the stock delivery an off spin bowler needs to master.

To achieve this a series of wrist drills is helpful and can be built upon using the following sequence:

Seated throwing a spinning ball against the wall

Throwing a spinning ball to a partner

Bowling a spinning ball to partner (catcher checks angle of the seam)

Other drills and exercises to enhance the performance of an off spin bowler

Bowling from one foot to ensure that the weight is forward at release

One step delivery method (one pace taken before release) to improve foot alignment and balance

Bowling with eyes closed (to get used to the feeling of bowling rather than relying on sight)

Getting younger players to bowl over a shorter distance to encourage a pure action

Catcher to check angle of seam in flight before pitching

Target bowling by placing a target on a good length to develop accuracy

Placing a piece of string across a net so the ball has to go up from the hand and then come down with a quick loop

Run up and bowl with eyes closed to encourage the feeling of a repeatable action

All of these practical tips and drills are designed to help any spin bowler improve. The goal is to produce the perfect off spin delivery and this should give an insight into how to help coach an off spin bowler to achieve this goal.

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©2007 Peter Such. Copyright and trademark information