England coach Peter Moores answers an aspiring coach’s query every month.
“My spinner has lost his confidence and his action is falling apart. What can I do to help him recapture his best form?”
TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
They’ve probably lost their action because they are feeling under pressure. They may need a little break from bowling so they can completely take their mind off it, so you should let them bowl in situations where it is nice to bowl. The only way they’re going to get back to their natural action is if they are in a good flow and the only way to achieve that is if they are relaxed. As a result you must not measure things too much – just let them go and bowl naturally with no pressure on them. The player also needs to find ways of distracting themselves so they don’t over think what they’re doing – this could be something as simple as singing a song as they run into bowl.
DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL
Quite often the action they want isn’t actually that far away. The player just needs to find a way to reconnect with it and then they will be off and running. So the last thing you want to try and do is technically break down his whole action and try and reinvent it. It won’t need reinventing – just let him bowl naturally with no pressure and he’ll get back to his best.
THE ‘EYES CLOSED’ METHOD
Every time you take away a sense you force your senses to work harder. Your eyes give you a feeling of balance as they show you where things are so if you take them away suddenly other things have to compensate for your balance. If you have the spinner bowl with his eyes closed, he will suddenly notice if he is stiff in his shoulders or other things which may be affecting his action that he doesn’t notice when his eyes are open. The whole idea is that you learn more through your body than through your head because your body actually does the action. Most of what you do is subconscious but our brains get in the way of doing things – closing your eyes helps you get back to that subconscious action.