USE YOUR UPPER BODY TO ADD MORE POWER
The Chest Drive is the "catapulting" forward movement of your upper body between Front Foot Contact and Ball Release (often as a result of a Braced Front Leg). It is where your upper body rotates from facing sideways to facing forwards, allowing your bowling shoulder to drive in a straight line towards your target.
Brett Lee drives his chest forward to face the batsman before release (original) - CC2.0 Photo by Prescott
WHY IS THE CHEST DRIVE IMPORTANT?
The Chest Drive has two main purposes. Firstly, it allows a complete rotation of your upper body, increasing the distance through which you can accelerate the ball. This rotation also increases the Separation between your chest and the cricket ball - promoting a powerful stretch across your upper body and your bowling arm, forcing your bowling arm to fire forwards at high speed.
Dale Steyn drives his chest ahead of the ball to face forward (original) - Photo © David W
Secondly, a good Chest Drive encourages your bowling arm to travel in a in a straight line towards your target. This can help you to get into a safer Release position where you can bowl consistently fast and straight, with your wrist in a good upright position to be able to Swing the Ball both ways at pace.
HOW TO DRIVE THE CHEST FORWARD
During an effective Chest Drive you want to:
Use your front arm to powerfully pull your chest forwards when your front foot hits the ground
Rotate your upper body so that your bowling shoulder goes from behind to in-front-of your non-bowling side
Delay your bowling arm behind you to create a big angle between your chest and the cricket ball
Pull your bowling arm forwards in a straight line towards your target
Release the ball above or just outside your bowling-side hip
Being able to Chest Drive correctly should mean that your bowling arm and the ball is pulled straight towards your target, resulting in a safe release position that is above or just outside your bowling-side hip. You want to release the ball with your bowling arm between 12 and 1 on a clock face with as little lateral flexion as possible.
The chest drive pulls your bowling arm from straight behind you to above your bowling side hip
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