Sunday, 14 April 2013

Back in the office

Apologies again for the lack of new posts, I seem to be drafting them but never quite get round to finishing and publishing them. Anyway, two more up for you to enjoy (if "enjoy" is really the right word).

Anyway, I'm all too aware that our first match on 20th April is fast approaching and I need to get my bowling sorted out. More specifically, what I need to do is bank the hard work that allows me to stand at my bowling mark and relax, safe in the knowledge that I'm as prepared as I reasonably can be. And safe is the key word; if I've done all I can, psychologically the bad days don't play on your mind.

So tonight I rushed down to the club to catch a couple of hours' bowling practise before the sun went down. I started off just trying to nail down a half-decent line and length, trying not to take off any speed. It's a problem I seem to have had the last two seasons that I start off pre-season bowling 40ish mph then slow down to 30ish mph to achieve accuracy, and I really need to push through that and get some control without losing the speed. One thing I'm working on is changing the timing of my action so my front foot lands just as my bowling hand is reaching the top of its arc; it's not an element I'd been aware of before but it does make a big difference to the speed, and referring to some footage of Warne and MacGill they both do it. Seems I've been missing out!

After loosening up a bit and bowling a couple of bagfuls I started drilling down into technique, remembering all the old little tricks that if forgotten cause problems; cocking the wrist was one aspect, a high enough leap into delivery being another. I started bowling really quite well and one bagful produced two loose balls and six jaffas, so the potential is definitely there. Later on I started really working on my close focus, as it's so often the case that mistakes in practise are 90% concentration issues. That seemed to really help so I'll do more of that next time.

Overall I'm pretty happy with what I got done, but there's plenty of room for improvement. I just hope the weather holds off this week so I can get a few more hours in. Another worry is my left knee and right shoulder, both prime candidates for swelling and soreness after a heavy bowling workload.


In other news, the 4ths have a new captain after Phil decided he wasn't able to do a full season. I'm not entirely sure of the reasons nor am I particularly interested, but rather swiftly Chigsy has managed to get himself the job. This is undoubtedly a great thing for Chigsy, who missed all but one match last year due to some pretty serious health problems, so I'm delighted to see such a big personality back in the team - especially at the head of it. However it will be interesting to see which Chigsy turns up, as while he is one of the more experienced twenty-somethings at the club, knows the game really well and makes it fun, he may find the admin side a little wearing, and may struggle to set the right tone for the team. Still, I'm in a pretty optimistic frame of mind going in to Saturday's match.

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