“The Sequences of Balance”
TOOT BYRON, 2005
EFFECTIVE LEARNING MUST BE
• Effective coaching must be able to identify
consequences, and focus on causes.
• Effective coaches must be able to understand
the holistic sequential process of a skill
(e.g. why does the 7th domino in a line fall over ?)
The SEQUENCES of the BAT
• Set up
• Stop and Stabilise
Sir Donald Bradman …. Sequence
THE AIM OF BATSMEN …
To ‘access’ the ball and then hit it with the
full face of the bat.
Batsmen who consistently hit the ball with
timing, power and control, are those who
are able to control the transition from
their NATURAL BALANCE, to DYNAMIC
BALANCED batters have a very STABLE
BASE enabling them to respond to the ball
and swing their bat down the line. A strong
base provides greater CONTROL and
generates more POWER
Brian Lara Richards Sobers
Mark Waugh Lawrence Rowe
Rahul Dravid Keith Miller
WHAT are the COMPONENTS of
• Closed skills • Open skills
– Grip – Perception
– Stance – Decision making
– Set-up – Movement execution/
action … eg,
• Initial movement
• Accessing ball
•It is easier for coaches to ‘control’
closed skills • Bat swing
• Ball striking/Timing
• Follow through
IN RELATION to TECHNIQUE … WHAT
EFFECTS A BATSMANS’ DYNAMIC BALANCE ?
B. Set up/Stance
C. Initial Movement
As coaches you must be able to look at
batters and notice things about them that
will become your coaching cues /sign posts.
It is suggested you follow this sequence:
The ‘GRIP’ initiates 85-90% of the sequences of a
batters movements …. WHY ?
• It is the only part of the body touching the bat !
• An efficient grip allows the batters top hand to dominate
the backlift/pickup and bat swing !
• When the bat is picked up it will lever towards the back
shoulder in the direction of 2nd/3rd slip with the hands in
close to the body.
• In this position, the face of the bat will be directed square
of the wicket, using the thumb and index finger of the
bottom hand as a cradle
Brian Lara Yousuf Yohana
DOMINANT TOP HAND
The most important point to understand is
there is NO perfect grip. All batsmen are
“I refuse to be dogmatic about a
batsmans’ grip because I believe a
variety can be satisfactory. So much
depends on the batsmans’ methods”.
Sir Donald Bradman
Sir Donald Bradman (grip)
SRI LANKAN ‘BOY’, 9 years old
Stephen Fleming (NZ)
HOW TO FIND A NATURAL BATTING GRIP?
1. Swing the bat with the TOP HAND ONLY until it feels
strong and in total control of the bat
2. Using the TOP HAND only, lever the bat up so the
face is open towards point and the toe is pointing
towards the back shoulder [between 2nd/3rd slip]
The TOP HAND should be close to the body resting
near the front thigh pad.
3. When the bat is raised, place the BOTTOM HAND on
the handle concentrating on the thumb and index
finger only,…..so when the bat swings down naturally
toward the ball, it compliments the TOP HAND
A. GRIP …. the facts !
Every successful batsmen in world cricket has
employed their “own” grip,and largely most have had a
dominant TOP HAND....,in every case both hands
have worked together.
The ‘CRADLE’ position formed by the thumb and
index finger of the BOTTOM HAND allowed them to
maintain their DYNAMIC BALANCE when they swung
their bat down the line of the ball.
If batsmen maintain a grip that is too firm and rigid
with their bottom hand as they try to access balls of
varying length, their DYNAMIC BALANCE will be
Greg Chappell, Viv Richards and VVS Laxman
Jacques Kallis Yousuf Youhana
A. GRIP… every player is different !!
COMMON GRIP VARIATIONS:
A. Hands apart [acceptable]
B. Top hand facing mid off [bottom hand must compliment]
C. Top hand behind the handle [very restrictive re. shot range]
D. “V” of bottom hand pointing to inside edge of bat [inside out batswing]
A B C D
As coaches you must understand where the ball will go if a batter swings the
bat down a direct plane with any of these variations …
… therefore, you must also understand what adjustments a batter must
make if the hands do not compliment one another.
A. GRIP …. the facts !
IMPORTANT COACHING TIP
In cricket, every player is different, as a study of past
players supports, they all employed different ‘methods’ to
score runs consistently !
They ‘used’ their hands in their own way consistent with
the way they played cricket.
However many batters may find it uncomfortable and
threatening when a grip change or adjustment is suggested,
particularly changing their BOTTOM HAND .
If you talk about the increased stroke range and control a
TOP HAND adjustment provides and follow the steps
outlined, you could have a desirable coaching outcome, as
will the player.
Ian Chappell Javed Miandad
B. SET UP
• Batters should be aligned so they can “swing the bat
naturally” down a line towards the ball with a vertical or
• The hands and arms should be kept close to the body
• This is a personal position for batters.They must be
sufficiently relaxed and balanced to be able to lift their
bat and move forward or back quickly.
HOW IS THIS ACHIEVED ?
• Slightly open front shoulder….this is ‘natural’ for LH
• Eyes level
• Relaxed posture….bat cannot be tucked in behind foot
• Natural width between feet, with even weight distribution
Kim Hughes, Don Bradman and Geoff Boycott
B. SET UP
SET UP’s TO AVOID
• Closed front shoulder
• Chin tucked into shoulder
• Straight arms
• “Offset” / angled eyes
• Feet too wide apart
• Feet too close together
As coaches you must understand and be able to
demonstrate the ‘feel’, consequences and
inhibitions of these set up variations, in relation to
Allan Border Sunil Gavaskar
Graham Gooch, Gary Sobers and David Boon
C. INITIAL MOVEMENT
• This is the movement of a batsman into his “set”
position prior to delivery .It must coincide with the
picking up of the bat and commencement of the
backlift….which is another example of the principle of
• As players become more experienced, they may move
their body slightly before the ball is bowled to prepare
themselves to respond to the delivery eg. “forward” or
“back and across”. This is not unlike the golfer who
initiates the takeaway of his club with a “waggle” or a
C. INITIAL MOVEMENT
• So players are able to initiate their backlift /pickup
with their hands in close it is a natural “reaction”for
them to take a step forward/back to re-establish their
dynamic balance (centre of gravity) in relation to the
weight of their bat
• The danger in performing an initial movement is when it
becomes pre-meditated.Batsmen may move too far
forward, back, or across, and consquently becoming
‘stuck’in a poor position!
• It has been found of late a ‘desire to get forward’ as
an initial movement is the most effective action a
batsman can take before the ball is released.This is
more of a a mental process rather than a physical ‘step
1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.
Greg Chappell and Gordon Greenidge
Garfield Sobers (6 sixes in one over)