Mcdermott takes pace bowling technology on road
At a time when the case of Pat Cummins has underlined the difficulty of bowling fast at a young age, Australia's former bowling coach Craig McDermott is hoping he can help prevent the next generation from succumbing to similar problems.
Aspiring young quicks will get the chance to have their actions tested for risk of injury at a series of clinics to be helmed by McDermott this summer. The clinics will feature video analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of young bowlers, and significantly will allow them to be tested for their degrees of shoulder counter rotation and lateral flexion of the spine - considered important measures of whether their bowling action will lead to injuries.
Cummins, currently sidelined by a back stress fracture, had been slated to have similar testing done on his action on his return from the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa. This technology has previously been available only at sporting laboratories like those at the University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, but will this season be taken on the road to state capitals and major regional centres.
Under the banner Pace Bowling Australia, the clinics arose out of McDermott's desire to ensure fast bowling fundamentals are learned at a younger age. When coaching Australia's pacemen including Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc, McDermott made significant strides simply by pushing basics like the grip of the ball, the right length to bowl and the importance of a high fitness level. "I'm trying to educate kids from a very young age what we're actually teaching bowlers at a higher level, and trying to get bowlers ready earlier," McDermott told ESPNcricinfo. "Rather than waiting for our bowlers to get to 17, 18 or 19 and then say 'oh now we've got to do this, this and this to get them ready to play first-class cricket'.
"We're doing these clinics from a talent identification perspective at a very young age, then we can start to work with the better ones as it comes along to get them the right ideas about strength training, diet, nutrition, all the way through from a younger age. So it's really an education.
"I want our bowlers to come through more educated and more ready from a younger age. You want guys who are 12 or 13 with some arm speed and some ability to be able to go through to the next level.