Below are five simple parts of the action to look for when coaching a leg spin bowler. As the coach be sure to make a note of any variances from the five and then discuss these with the bowler you are working with.
1. Alignment- Align shoulders and hips toward target
2. Front Arm- Lead with front arm toward target. Pull down hard
3. Spin the ball Up- Bowl “up and over” with shoulders
4. Pivot- Rotate the shoulders 180 degrees
5. Follow Through- Complete the action with the bowling shoulder facing the target, with bowling hand to opposite hip (left hip) and front arm out the back.
As a coach it is going to be difficult to pick up or focus on all five things at once so it might be a good idea for you to start from the ground up or look from the top down to the ground. I find video to be a useful tool which makes analyzing these principles a lot easier and faster.
The Approach (Run-up) to the Wicket is Crucial
Whilst the approach to the crease is an individual thing, it is important not to have a run up which is either too straight or too angled. If the approach is too angled when the bowler arrives at the crease the tendency is for them to pull their front arm to the side. This makes it hard for them to rotate over their front leg and affects the amount of spin they can impart on the ball. On the other hand, if the bowlers approach is too straight they tend to jump in at the crease and close themselves off. This can cause the bowling arm to become too high or the front arm may pull to the side. Both these result in less spin being produced on delivery.
Key Points when Helping a Leg Spinner with their Approach (Run-up)
- Slightly angled approach
- Slight lean forward
- Long strides better for rhythm than short steps
- Focus on target at commencement of approach – This is an individual thing though so it may vary from player to player. Shane Warne used to focus on what type of shot he wanted to draw the batsman into playing
- Get into a side-on position one step before they jump (bound)
- The run up/approach is for momentum (energy at the crease), rhythm and balance
A good way to find a good approach is to reverse chain from the delivery stride. If the bowler stops spinning the ball the run up is probably too long so get them to move the run up closer until they start spinning it more.