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Author Topic: Correct way to utilise bowling machine  (Read 776 times)

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The Lawyer

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Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« on: May 01, 2019, 07:17:49 AM »

Hi folks

I'll be having a bowling machine net session this week and wanted to ask what the best way was to ensure I get the most benefit out of it. I see lots of cricketers simply churning out drives to half volleys and whilst this is good for muscle memory, I think there's better things to do!

Any ideas would be appreciated. I've been out the game for a while so need to work on all aspects of my batting and not just one or two particular areas.

Cheers
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SLA

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2019, 07:26:02 AM »

Hi folks

I'll be having a bowling machine net session this week and wanted to ask what the best way was to ensure I get the most benefit out of it. I see lots of cricketers simply churning out drives to half volleys and whilst this is good for muscle memory, I think there's better things to do!

Any ideas would be appreciated. I've been out the game for a while so need to work on all aspects of my batting and not just one or two particular areas.

Cheers

I guess the first question is, what can a bowling machine do that a couple of net bowlers can't.
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petehosk

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 07:51:18 AM »

Hi folks

I'll be having a bowling machine net session this week and wanted to ask what the best way was to ensure I get the most benefit out of it. I see lots of cricketers simply churning out drives to half volleys and whilst this is good for muscle memory, I think there's better things to do!

Any ideas would be appreciated. I've been out the game for a while so need to work on all aspects of my batting and not just one or two particular areas.

Cheers

I think always have a plan. And be honest about your weaknesses! If you are rubbish at playing off your pads through midwicket/on side, then have a couple of buckets in that area.
Last nets with machine I got Fattus at set bowling machine just outside of offstump, but back of a length! There is always a natural variation from a machine which is good. But most of the balls would be in that corridor of uncertainty. He would also vary the length a little so I had to judge whether I could leave the ball, defend the ball or whether I could attack it. A lot of the balls had to be played at the top of the bounce so was not easy to play them.
So if I had a long net with machine, I would do the following:
Bucket 1: Nice easy pace balls pitched up to drive.
Bucket 2: nice easy pace balls shorter length so you defend or drive on back foot.
Bucket 3: Work on a weakness and maybe ask to put randome swing on some balls and speed up a little.
Bucket 4: Work on another area of weakness or the same as bucket 3.
Bucket 5: Work on spin
Bucket 6: Mixture of deliveries

Tailor it to yourself. Everyone will be different but I think that working on at least 1 weaker shot is important. So plan what you want to work on in advance?

But it easy for me, as I have lots of weaker areas to pick from  ;)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 07:53:52 AM by petehosk »
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FattusCattus

Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2019, 08:28:04 AM »

Get someone with common sense and a little of the devil in them to operate the machine.

Set it up for a line and length then get the operator to chuck in a surprise randomly, 'cos that's what good bowlers do!

When I fed @petehosk, I chucked in a few yorkers and a couple of quicker ones to keep him honest. You can do this quite subtly by leaning on the bar of the machine and playing with the speeds when he's distracted.
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petehosk

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2019, 08:34:55 AM »

Get someone with common sense and a little of the devil in them to operate the machine.

Set it up for a line and length then get the operator to chuck in a surprise randomly, 'cos that's what good bowlers do!

When I fed @petehosk, I chucked in a few yorkers and a couple of quicker ones to keep him honest. You can do this quite subtly by leaning on the bar of the machine and playing with the speeds when he's distracted.

Definitely agree with this! The last thing you need is someone who just wants to clean bowl you or bounce you every other ball!
It needs to be someone who will focus on the same plan as you have, and work WITH you to improve. Plus putting in the odd naughty ball to keep you alert  ;)
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DorsetDan

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2019, 08:46:46 AM »

The advantage of a bowling machine is somewhat consistent deliveries so I would say it is more useful for grooving a shot than improving your overall game (ie not great for testing your judgement of length and being very adaptable to any ball which could come at any time, etc). I'm not a massive fan of the person feeding constantly messing around with the speed/ length/ width and would much prefer to use have a sidearm session if those are your goals where you can read the cues from the "bowler" rather than have random balls spat out the machine at speed where it is tough to get your timing right at the best of times. edit, the "Fattus-devilish-messing-protocol" is fine but wild changes are more of a hindrance than help :)

If you are having the session with a coach then talk about how you feel about your batting, strengths and weaknesses and they will be better placed to advise. In many cases having some balls under-armed/ thrown may be far more beneficial than using the machine and start building confidence/ patterns of movement.

It is fine in my book for the goal to be "have fun and smash some balls" if you just need to feel balls rocketing off the bat and get some fun and confidence back :D

As Pete suggests though, I think mixing strengths and weaknesses is good for overall confidence, improvement and importantly fun!

I usually do something like:
Fuller straight (get timing and overall groove going on balls attacking the stumps, try to play late and not push at the ball. Judge balls which can be attacked)
Fuller and slightly leg side (weakness, again wait for the ball and groove balance and timing)
Fuller slightly off side (strength so long as I judge leaves correctly).
Off side and back of a length/ length (for some corridor of uncertainty balls- always tough)
Short and straight (massive weakness for me and very hard to improve hooks/ pulls from net bowlers- machine consistency really helps)
Short and off side (I love back foot drives and cutting so it is my version of half volleys to cream a few balls at the end and finish on a high) :D

My only real advice is to think about what you want from the session and try to leave with a smile.

edit2, my real Winter use for a bowling machine is knocking bats in and messing around with the two dozen I seemed to have bought from late night ebay sessions :D
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 10:41:12 AM by DorsetDan »
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Real Munson

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2019, 09:07:40 AM »

Agree with what has been said - I used to practice driving to get my feet moving, back foot shots, pulls. Just be sensible and be safe - accidents can happen, as per what happened to David Fulton - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESFmhcGGxHU - he was never the same cricketer after this injury to his eye.
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Mpt7

Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2019, 10:53:04 AM »

a bowling machines gives you 1 thing. consistency.

you can use this consistency to practice orthodox or unorthodox shots of a similar line and length.

you cannot beat bowlers - triggers, variety of pace and a bowling trying to get you out is the best practice
side arms are great if you have someone who is good with them

bowling machines are for technical improvement practice (getting into the correct positions repeatedly) and it's an easy way to hit as many balls as possible
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 10:54:54 AM by Mpt7 »
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Chompy9760

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2019, 10:54:07 AM »

Ouch!!  Practicing short pitched fast deliveries with a helmet that didn't have a faceguard.  Brainless!  Granted, who-ever was feeding the machine didn't cover themselves in glory, but that was an accident waiting to happen.
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six and out

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2019, 10:58:14 AM »

Agree with what has been said above the one other main point i would add is - get the speed right........ i see so many guys go in against the machine and whack the speed right up (because they can on the machine), when they simply won't be facing that pace of bowling for their standard.
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Real Munson

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2019, 11:01:39 AM »

Ouch!!  Practicing short pitched fast deliveries with a helmet that didn't have a faceguard.  Brainless!  Granted, who-ever was feeding the machine didn't cover themselves in glory, but that was an accident waiting to happen.

He had a grill - just the gap was big enough for a ball to fit through. Unfortunate accident, but knackered his career.
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SLA

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2019, 11:30:20 AM »

a bowling machines gives you 1 thing. consistency.

you can use this consistency to practice orthodox or unorthodox shots of a similar line and length.

you cannot beat bowlers - triggers, variety of pace and a bowling trying to get you out is the best practice
side arms are great if you have someone who is good with them

bowling machines are for technical improvement practice (getting into the correct positions repeatedly) and it's an easy way to hit as many balls as possible

I agree with this entirely. I'm not a huge fan of bowling machines, I feel they're overused. They're an answer to a specific problem, which is: do I have a technical problem with a specific shot that I need to work on with consistent feeds, that a coach with a decent, accurate throw can't simulate.

Such problems are actually pretty rare. Most people who use bowling machines just to have a hit would be better off facing real bowlers.
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Chompy9760

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2019, 12:19:50 PM »

He had a grill - just the gap was big enough for a ball to fit through. Unfortunate accident, but knackered his career.

Ah, my mistake - sorry.  Yes, very unfortunate, but still operator error on both sides then. 
I was playing with the adjustments on my son's helmet this year and discovered that one of the settings allowed a full sized ball to go straight through the gap!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 01:11:35 PM by Chompy9760 »
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Real Munson

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2019, 01:31:21 PM »

Which is why helmets since 2015 ish have been non-adjustable....
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InternalTraining

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Re: Correct way to utilise bowling machine
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2019, 02:22:22 PM »

In addition to what's been written, there are couple of things that I find helpful with the bowling machine:

- Match preparation and practicing/preparing for a specific type of bowling.

- Timing your shots. This was a total surprise for me when practicing with Bola Jr's soft balls. If you time the ball correctly, even the soft balls will go a distance. Taking that to a real game against a real cricket ball just makes life so much easier.

- Setting to a low speed. This again was a surprise, a 55-60 mph at a 21 yard distance is more than enough to build muscle memory.

Areas where I feel bowling machine are a disadvantage:

- Delivery angle. The machine is sometimes setup too high and human bowler's release point is lower. It is helpful to practice against human bowlers before a game to (re)adjust to the delivery angle.

- Speed and variation. Human bowlers seem slower than the machine and (in my experience) ball wait is slightly longer. This throws off your reactions slightly. Again, I practice against human bowlers after my machine session to adjust the reaction time.

- Bad balls. Most of the time, bad balls and boredom will get me out. Bowling machine does not prepare you for that. Again reacquaint yourself to human bowlers and a match situation in nets. God knows, if I had my way, I'd ban sledging and make nicety compulsory in a game - boredom gets more batsmen out than outright hostility.
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