In my indoor cricket team, there are a couple of players who are new to cricket not having played as a child or teenager. They are reasonable athletes and have picked up fielding and batting quickly (fortunately batting in indoor cricket requires a far narrower range of shots than in summer cricket). However, their bowling is diabolical. It is not uncommon to have most of the balls off the pitch in a given over (fortunately wides and no-balls do not have to be re-bowled in indoor cricket, although they score 3 runs each). In any case, for the purpose of this question the indoor/summer cricket distinction is moot. The basics of the skill are the same.

I have tried to offer some pointers to help, however bowling is such an unnatural action for the body to do that I really don't know where to start when someone just looks like a frog in a blender. I've been able to help people in the past improve their bowling by correcting some minor flaws, but I can't work out how to effectively help someone who has no idea of the basics. Kids seem to be able to pick this up much more quickly and can do it on their own for the most part, but it seems trying to pick it up as an adult is much more difficult.

I just want to get them to the level where they can bowl seam up at a spinners pace and simply get the ball on the pitch consistently. I need some tips on how to coach someone to be able to get the basics of a bowling action correct; get you body position and motion right, produce a consistent release etc. Does anyone have any experience and success doing this?

3 Answers 3


The problem with bowling is that there are so many things to think about, especially as a beginner. With absolute beginners, I attempt to make it as simple as possible.

  1. Forget about a run-up. Get them to stand side-on on the crease. For now, their bowling action can consist of just rocking back on their back foot, followed by rocking onto their front foot to release the ball.

  2. Tell them to look intently at where they want the ball to go - it's probably easier to get them to look at the stumps rather than a point on the pitch, at this stage.

  3. Demonstrate it as one smooth continuous action, rather than lots of bits joined together. Remember simplicity. You don't want them to have to keep thinking "what bit do I have to do now?"

Once they have the arm action grooved, they can add a step up to the wicket, and you can add extra elements such as the follow-through, run up, etc. Those elements can wait, though: the simple rock-back-foward should give them enough to bowl a basic ball.


Yeah being as a bowler my thinking is only Practice makes a man perfect. So first you let him do this in their way but by and by you should take some action on this and put your effort to learn them how to bowl with consistency and pace when they will be right in their own they will do your changes with less difficulty and faster way than to push all your effort on initial position.


Basic level of fielding or batting is simpler for a newbie as it is just stopping + picking up the ball or swinging arms trying to make contact between the bat and the ball. However bowling which consists of a run-up, a leap with simultaneous swinging of arms just before releasing the ball makes is sound like a sequence straight out of a Bollywood song.

Like with any other sport, technique is easier learnt and mastered as kids than with an adult trying it for the first time. However, with practice, anyone can learn to bowl with a decent level of competence. The trick is in not rushing things, instead taking it one step at a time. Maybe you can follow the below steps,

  1. Make them stand at the bowling crease and throw the ball consistently at the stumps.

  2. Once they are good enough at step 1, ask them to swing their arms, ala bowling action, before releasing the ball.

  3. Once they are comfortable with step 2, make them run in with a very short run up, jump, swing arms before releasing the ball.

It is imperitive that they have fun while learning it. The training drill should not be too hard and demanding that they start hating it. Break up the training drill into smaller bits and encourage them to achieve goals set by you within in the timeline. Commend them on completing each step and make them hungry to learn more and do better. Eventually, this will reflect on the field during games as well.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.