SET THE TONE FOR HOW YOU WANT TO BOWL
The Run Up helps you gain momentum and direction ahead of your fast bowling action. It is the first part of your bowling technique that can impact how fast and straight you can bowl in practice and cricket matches.
WHY IS A GOOD RUN UP IMPORTANT?
The Run Up sets the tone for how you want to bowl. To help you bowl faster and straighter, you will generally need a fast run up that is directed towards your target. Research has shown that faster run ups are linked to faster bowling speeds, so it is worth developing the technique and strength required to run in quickly.
The length and speed of a Run Up will vary from person to person, but if you look at how fast Shoaib Akhtar and Brett Lee used to run up, it is not surprising that they were two of cricket's fastest bowlers of all time.
HOW DO YOU RUN UP PROPERLY?
A good Run Up:
Drives in a straight line towards your target using good running technique
Helps you gain momentum and rhythm by accelerating towards the crease
Hits your optimum running speed a few strides before your Jump and Gather
Is the same length and speed almost every time
Allows you to land with your front foot splitting or just behind the crease-line
Your Run Up angle will normally change when bowling at right or left-handed batsmen. You should aim to run in a straight line from the top of your run up towards the batsman's off-stump. Practise bowling at right and left handed batsmen from over and around the wicket to see what run up angle works best for you.
RUN UP PRACTICE DRILL
RUN UP MEASURING DRILL
1. Start at the front crease and run away from the stumps until you feel ready to bowl the cricket ball
2. Mark where your front foot lands (you may need to video it or get someone to watch)
3. From your mark, run towards the stumps and bowl - you want your front foot to land on/behind the crease
4. If your front foot lands beyond the crease it is a no-ball, so repeat steps 1, 2 and 3
5. Use a tape measure, or count the steps from the crease to your mark so that it's the same every time
COMMON ISSUES WITH THE RUN UP
You may experience some of the following issues when practising your Run Up which could prevent you from bowling fast or put you at risk of an injury during practice or cricket matches:
RUN UP IS NOT STRAIGHT
If your Run Up zig-zags from side to side, it becomes harder for you to bowl the ball fast and straight as your body is not directed towards your target in a straight line. This will make it more difficult to align your body correctly later on in your action which increases your injury risk.
RUN UP SLOWS DOWN
Slowing down in your Run Up will likely mean that you end up bowling slowly, and batsmen will find it easier to score runs against you. You may also end up trying to bowl fast by forcing the cricket ball down the other end with a bad bowling action, putting yourself at a greater risk of injury.
SUMMARY - RUN UP
The purpose of the Run Up is to gain momentum and direction
Explore a Run Up speed and length that suits you - if you want to bowl faster, try running up faster!
Run Up in a straight line towards your target using good running technique
Do not slow down at any point during your Run Up!
Remember to change your angle when bowling to a left or right-handed batsman
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