Bowling Run Up – Speed
Every bowler has his own speed of run up which is developed over many years of hard work in the nets and in matches. There is no hard and fast rule for speed of run up, either for a fast bowler or a spinner. No two bowlers have the same bowling action or similar build. Hence it becomes imperative that speed of your run up is one that suits your bowling action and build.
A good run-up can be divided into three stages –
It is just like driving a car. When you engage first gear, the car moves slowly. In the second gear, it moves a bit faster and in the third, it accelerates and moves fast and smooth. You got to hit the right acceleration, to have enough time, to get into your action when your back foot lands to deliver the ball.
The length of your strides should increase gradually, and also should remain the same for every delivery. Every time you bowl, you got to change gear from the same stride.
The run up speed has to constant for each and every delivery. Regular practice will give you the sense of speed that you need to bowl with and you will also get the rhythm which suits your bowling action. To achieve this you got to relax in you run up and this too needs lots of practice.
Staying mentally and physically relaxed will get you in the correct body position at the point of delivery.
Usually bowlers, who have long run up, have the tendency to start accelerating too quickly, thus losing balance and control.
Run Up Optimum Speed
Too fast ?
If you are running in too fast you will get very little time to load properly in your gather and in the process creating imbalance at back foot landing, thus affecting your bowling action. The momentum will force your body into a position of imbalance at the point of delivery. When this happens, control is lost and you will not be able to bowl where and what you intend to bowl.
If you have a side-on action, the faster momentum will force the front shoulder to open early and expose you to lower back injury. In the follow-through, more often than not, you may run into the danger area due to the lateral movement of the front shoulder.
Too slow ? –
A slow run up will give you more time in gather than necessary to get into your bowling action. Due to the lack of momentum, it is observed that the bowler often drops his front shoulder and the body-weight falls off to one side. The lack of momentum forces the bowler to use excess strength, thus losing co-ordination.
The result is a loss of control over line and length. The excess use of strength may, over a period of time, lead to injuries and you will bowl below your potential. The loss of rhythm thus hampers your bowling performance and leads to frustration.
Can you bowl faster by running in faster?
It’s wrong to presume that with a quick run up you can bowl faster. Remember, run up contributes 18-20 per cent of the pace. 80% of the pace comes from other components of the bowling action like body action, quickness of the arm etc. So by running in too fast or too slow the body will not get into the correct position from where it can propel the ball at great speed or give it the ball the right amount of tweak.
If you are a beginner, work hard on finding the right speed for your run up, which gives you just enough time to get into a correct position and to set your action when the back foot lands.
Once you get the optimum speed that your bowling action needs- just relax and enjoy bowling.