Since the 2018-19 season had ended, I had made a conscious effort to improve both my physical fitness and technical skills (particularly in fielding). Unlike previous years where I was focusing on one superset for weight-training (in each gym session) in the BowlFit app, I tried to cram in three supersets into one gym session. The reasoning is that if I have to miss a gym session anytime, I know that I have managed to train every part of my body at least once. The progress from this as resulted in me putting on 6 kilos of muscle, which I should see that as a positive sign since I could use that to my advantage when it comes to power training.
My last trip to Perth at Easter allowed me to visit Luke at Southern Cricket again. As a result, I went from an action that was a combination of Brett Lee and Danny Morrison to a more slinging action like Lasith Malinga. The reasoning behind this is that it will generate vertical bounce and movement while also controlling the type of delivery I wanted to bowl without having to telegraph it to the batsman as I’m loading up to bowl.
In a bid to maintain the lessons learned from this, I spent the majority of my Tuesday and Thursdays after work bowling in the nets at Gillespie Sports in Edwardstown. Slowly the new action became natural to me, but it obviously required practice. I had started from a short run-up, which I thought might be the way to go for the upcoming season (since subsequent attempts to increase the run-up had reduced my effectiveness). However, one of their coaches had encouraged me to place a bit of faith in my body (as I have good lower-body strength) by increasing my run-up, which would reduce the impact of injury if I stuck by my ways. Cheers Levy. More work needed to be done, though.
Speaking of coaches, I ended up spending time with three of them working on both my fielding and batting. My first fielding session was with Steve Stubbings, the former Derbyshire player and coach (now coaching at East Torrens). He initially highlighted the importance of getting low and staying low when chasing the ball down and had put me through a series of drills, which he says that I had picked up and executed quickly than the Derbyshire players he previously coached. Cheers Stubbo. I instantly warmed up to him and wanted to work under him. Unfortunately, though, he was a top-rated coach, so I ended spending time with Stedgy honing my throwing skills. While there is more work to be done with him on this aspect next month, it is clear that if I slow down my throwing motion, I’ll be able to hit my target more often rather than spraying the ball all over the place.
The Batting coaching was initially more a trial to see how I go. In the end, I ended spending time with Nick, who grooved my head and backlift, which instantly allowed me to hit through the leg side without my head falling over. As he’s also a spinner, he was instrumental when batting against spin, which allowed me to come down the wicket or go back and across depending on the flight and length. He also helped me to commence hitting over the top effectively by explaining that it requires just a full extension of the bat. More work is to be done with him over the coming weeks so far; there have been promising signs.
Even though things have been rosy in the nets, it hasn’t been so away from it. I had initially been looking forward to the Adelaide University pre-season training and hopefully getting some opportunities. Just recently, though, I had learned that the majority of the club’s new recruits are bowlers, which meant I had to fight for opportunities as a bowler alone, which I had accepted since I had to work on my batting and fielding which might be tiebreakers for selections. Moreover, it seems that preferential treatment would be given to uni students, which obviously won’t sit well with me who is seeking consistent selection based on availability.
Till now, I had been a one-club player for a particular competition. In SMCA in Perth, it was Riverton Rostrata. In the CCSCA, it was Canberra Workers Redbacks and recently Ginninderra within the ACT Premier Cricket competition. Thereby initially, I intended to play for Adelaide University in the ATCA competition. But the thought of paying full fees and playing fewer games concerns me given the current situation. I had to look out for myself and contacted Prince Alfred, whose secretary was keen to get me on board since they’re registering a 4th 2-day team, which would be of interest to me since it’s my preferred format. All it requires now is for Adelaide Uni to sign off the clearance form within two weeks. Otherwise, the ATCA will sign and process the form themselves. At this stage, I’m likely to be a Prince Alfred player.