“If you are not physically fit, you cannot concentrate on the mental part of the game or the ability to performance consistently for the many years it takes to achieve good results in any sport”.
The components of fitness important for bowling are strength both physical and mental, power, flexibility, agility, speed, aerobic and anaerobic fitness apart from skill and technique. To compliment your physical fitness, you must start paying attention to body mass and ensure proper nutrition as well. Diet check follows with the guidance of nutritionist appointed for the job.
Professional bowlers know the fact that even half an inch change to their swing can affect the way the ball moves in the air or incase of spinners the wrist or fingers determine the amount of spin on the ball, this is why one needs to train the correct muscles required to get the best swing and spin.
Some successful fast bowlers of all time are Dale Steyn, Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram, Glen McGrath, Bret Lee, Allan Donald, Courtney Walsh while Waqar Yonis and Lasith Malinga have been specialist Yorker bowlers. Some all time successful spinners are Saqlain Mushtaq, Paul Adams, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralidharan.
According to Waqar Younis in one of his interview mentioned, that fast bowlers in the 1980s and 1990s never had people telling them to change or modify their bowling actions but today there are video analysts. Technology with the help of cameras has helped the game gain more insights to the small areas one would not have come across otherwise.
However, while bowling one needs to be calm and sensible rather than being aggressive and giving away runs. Once the delivery is bowled then turn bank switch off and think of the next delivery. Hat-trick results from such calm and sensible bowling adjusting to and making the most out of a pressure situation.
Lately, James Faulkner claimed his maiden hat-trick and has become just the sixth Australian to take a one-day international hat–trick after he snared three crucial wickets against Sri Lanka at Colombo in the second ODI on 24 August 2016.
Depending on whether a bowler is Fast, Medium or Slow-Medium Pacers, Leg or off Spin, or Chinaman, the fitness and skill program is designed accordingly to help perform accurately and consistently. It’s never easy bowling an in swinger, out swinger, reverse swing, doosra or googly consistently. For a bowler to bowl long spells with accurate results one has to keep the stamina and endurance level as high as possible and tremendous mental bowling practice.
Specific bowling drills include spot bowling to help the bowler to pitch the ball on a good length which in turn makes it difficult for the batsman to play while some also use the wrist do so and generate pace. This same practice is then executed in the match.
Physios also suggest thera band exercises to flex the arm, shoulders and wrists that act as a warm up before bowling in a game. Giving the body the rest it needs is also a part of the fitness schedule as it’s very important for the body muscles to relax in order to perform afresh the next session.
So remember to be a good bowler you need to Improve Your Strength and Conditioning, Learn to Focus Accurately, Appreciate the Game, Keep motivating yourself and even when you feel tired keep going and “NEVER GIVE UP” as that”s the path to become a great bowler.
– by Cresinda D Costa