The ‘two angle, four swing’ batting method devised by Gary Palmer and utilising the double-machine-headed BOLA Stand challenges the most basic of the accepted ‘truths’ from cricket’s traditional coaching manual.

“The ‘two-angle, four swing’ coaching methodology challenges batsmen, identifies faults and enhances technique,” says Gary Palmer – ex-Somerset player, specialist batting coach and founder of the Cricket Coach Master Academy. “Quite simply, this is the future of coaching cricket batsmen.”

Gary developed his ‘four-swing’ methodology with the aid of a specially constructed double-machine-headed BOLA Stand (which are available for purchase) and is convinced that it will become the coaching system of the future.

The system involves two BOLA Bowling Machines on a Stand that is situated behind the stumps. The Stand attachment ensures that he left-hand machine is in the right position to simulate the right-arm over bowler’s deliveries and the right-hand machine the left-arm over bowler’s deliveries.

“In England the accepted method of coaching players to bat has them adopting a position that is too side on from an early age,” says Gary Palmer. “Over the last 25 years, I have watched as top notch players have adopted a more open shoulder position in their stance. When they drive straight their feet are pointing straight down the wicket (see Gary’s photograph) and not in the traditionally coached position which has the back foot pointing to cover point.”

“Viv Richards (who Gary knows well from his days at Somerset) was the classic example. He could play breathtaking shots no matter which line or of what shape the ball was bowled. He adopted a neutral position of alignment in his stance which allowed him to play at the last minute if ball swung or nipped back.”

“Mark Ramprakash has moved into this position over the years and Australian batters like Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey play from this stance,” says Gary.

Gary has been visiting first-class counties around the country and assessing batsmen’s techniques by subjecting them to 20 minute sessions against each of the swing and angle types.

“Put simply, batsmen can only play all the angles of these deliveries if they have very sound technique,” he says. “From this slightly open stance the head is pulled into the correct position. The head is over the front foot and leads into the shot – not the shoulder as the old manuals say.”

Gary has formulated a coaching mantra which he calls his ABC’s of batting (alignment, balance and completion see for more (click her for more details) and believes that the ‘four-swing’ method is the most efficient way for batters to appraise their alignment, balance and completion.

Somerset batter Nick Compton said: “The coaching manual says that the on-drive is hardest shot in the book to play but after a session of Gary’s ‘four-swing’ method the on-drive became the easiest shot to play!”

Currently, Gary is demonstrating his ‘four-swing’ coaching methodology to first class counties and selected batsmen around the English circuit. Paul Grayson and Matt Walker (the coaches at Essex) and Peter Moores at Lancashire have been particularly receptive as have David Capel (Head Coach at Northamptonshire), Jimmy Cook (Somerset batting coach) and the coaching staff at Sussex.

He has also demonstrated the method to the ECB England U19 coach John Abrahams, England batting coach Graham Gooch and ECB’s lead batting coach Graham Thorpe; all of whom were very interested in the 'two angle, four swing' method.

“There is no way that you can drive straight to all four shapes of delivery unless your body is in perfect alignment. Every first-class county will benefit from screening their playing staff with the ‘four-swing’ methodology and see how quickly guys improve when they are subjected to this programme,” said Gary.

"The secret of developing technique quickly is in the sequence of the four angles."

Gary Palmer is head coach at the Cricket Coach Master Academy and can be contacted at any time through their website.


 
   
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