We have to remember that bowling is not a natural action for the body. Even the smoothest and most aligned action produces a certain amount of counter rotation between the upper and lower body so it becomes very dangerous especially when bowlers get bigger, stronger and bowl faster.
Imagine 8-10 times your body weight traveling through your body to your front foot on landing at delivery. Crazy i know!!! Now think about the number of balls a fast bowler has to bowl. This would vary depending on the level they are playing and their age. In some countries, such as Australia, a bowler under the age of 18 is only allowed a maximum of 8 overs per spell to manage the amount of work they are doing and minimize injury. There is an optimum number of deliveries that every bowler should bowl. It is quite difficult to determine this, but with some intuition and common sense we can make some good decisions on how much is too much for every bowler. We should be looking at things like training age (how many balls they have already bowled in their careers), current level of strength and fitness, whether a particular bowler has had any recent injuries and how heavy their workload has been in the last few days, weeks and months. Once all these things are considered bowlers should look at taking a holistic approach to their physical preparation as it is vital for any bowler wanting to stay injury free to work on improving their strength, mobility, flexibility and stability. Nutrition and recovery are also key components in this process.
Managing the physical aspects of the game on and off the field becomes a balancing act for any sports coach, player or strength and conditioning coach. The pre-season is easier to manage because it’s all about getting stronger, faster and better balanced but once the season starts things start to get a little trickier. Maintaining strength and stability in the body is crucial and so is recovery.
Careful planning of both the pre season and in season training programs is essential to every athletes longevity in the game. Assessing the program, making adjustments and keeping up with the latest research and new training methods is also something that needs attention so that we keep improving as coaches/trainers. We can’t expect our athletes to keep improving if we aren’t ourselves!
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