Nightmare! I don't know what happens - I seem to do okay outside on the grass and then when I get inside much of what I do goes wrong? Is it that I'm intimidated by the fact that so many people are watching? If so this isn't good. Somehow I've got to take some positives from tonight.
One thing that was weird was one of the blokes in our team - Neil Samwell who's one of the key figures in the team and I've got to say one of the friendlier blokes said as soon as I arrived that he'd been keeping an eye on the blog! So much so (And I think he's pulling my leg a bit) that he said he was disappointed by the gap in the blog activity through Dec and January and then was pleased that I'd started up again recently!!
So if you're having a read Neil, cheers for tonight it's good to have someone tell me what I'm doing wrong and giving some encouragement and advice as to how to correct it. Although I'm going to make a whole bunch of excuses now for how crap I was, but I do acknowledge what was said and will make an effort to do something about it.
One of the points Neil raised was that my walk in is wrong - I was doing the walk in and stop thing like I was doing last year in the nets. As far as I know when I bowl on grass I'm not as bad? But I would definitely acknowledge that if I'm trying to bowl Leg Breaks I do pull up short and have no follow through. I think what was happening tonight I was aware of the fact that My trainers were a bit slippery and I didn't want to go arse of tit. But once Neil had mentioned it and said give it a go and follow through I tried it and he said there was a difference/improvement. So I'll have to try this out. What I need to do is figure out how the little video camera I bought works and use it when I'm out on grass and check to see what my bowling looks like?
The other really frustrating thing was that I wasn't able to bowl a single flipper anywhere near the stumps, they all went flying off to Leg about 10 yards too long - why? God knows what I was doing? Yet earlier today on grass I was hitting the stumps and getting the ball to spin from leg to off all the time.
The more I think about it - it seems I get the yips when the pressure is on to perform. Yeah - this could be it - when I'm out on a field bowling on my own everything is fine. As soon as someone comes along and starts watching me it all goes to pieces - I start trying too hard. This is an observation I made earlier in the year, if I do things in a really relaxed manner it works fine, but as soon as I try and do stuff with a heightened sense of determination it all goes horribly wrong. So some how I've got to switch off from thinking about what I'm doing and who might be watching and just do it in a really relaxed and uninhibited manner.
So positives from tonight -
1. Other people in the team do care and do offer advice and encouragement and this bodes well for the new season especially if I can get out on the field prior to matches and practice.
2. The Flipper aside, my Top-spinners and Wrong Uns were fairly accurate and this is while everyone was watching.
3. I've now been made aware of the fact that my walk-in is problematic and I need to look at that as an issue as well.
4. If I get the Gloucester Park blokes all playing this summer in the evenings there's going to have to be some positive outcome to playing with and against them - the bloke who joined me on Sunday within a matter of minutes was giving me advice that seemed to make a lot of sense.
I just wish I didn't have to work on Tuesday nights as this means tonight will probably be my one and only net session - gutted.
One last thing - the balls; I've been discussing the size of balls with people on the internet and I know there are differences in sizes and I've mentioned it before in the context of playing with G&CCC saying that in the past the balls they use seem to be bigger. I seem to have to distinct sizes amongst my collection and when I'm trying to practice seriously I go for the bigger ones as they seem like "Real" size balls, but tonight I noticed (The flipper especially) the balls they were using seemed enormous! The flipper is the variation with the flick between the fingers and the smaller the ball is the easier it is to do this. Tonight not one of my flippers was anywhere near being acceptable - is it a size issue as well? I'm convinced it is.