Young Fast Bowlers and Reducing Injury Risk Factors

1st June 2018

Attention Grade Bowlers, Junior Bowlers and Parents


Any player looking to prepare for the jump up to Green Shield or Grade Cricket next season needs to be aware of a few physical demands this will require and be prepared for them. Ages 13-16 are danger times for young bowlers and injuries. This applies to current Grade Players as well.

Often we see growth spurts, and as a result, they can bowl faster and make representative teams. Consequently, there is a large jump in bowling as they are playing in more than one team, yet physically their bodies are not ready for this increase in volume.  As you or your child will be playing in a number of teams, someone needs to take charge of how much the athlete is bowling.

Some Risk factors to look out for:

  • A significant growth spurt
  • A large jump in number of days of bowling per week
  • A large jump in time spent bowling
  • Pain particularly in the lower back
  • Pain in the lower back from last season
  • An increase in the number of teams he or she is playing in ie,  Club + school + rep team + Green Shield Team
  • Any breaks during the season

What can you do about it to prepare:

  • Communication with all coaches - let each coach know how many teams you are playing in and work with them to manage bowling volumes
  • Try and limit bowling days to no more 3-4 times per week. We understand you will think every training session and game is important, but ask yourself is doing all of them important enough to cause a back stress fracture?
  • Avoid bowling more than 2 days in a row
  • Do not bowl less than once per week unless injured.
  • Any back pain, get assessed by a medical professional. Usually the club will have a preferred sports doc or cricket physiotherapist.
  • If you suffered back pain towards the end of last season and haven’t had it checked, you must do this before the start of the pre-season even if you don’t feel there is pain now.
  • Start bowling well before any matches or trials and take a good 4 weeks of bowling to gradually build up to max effort. Gradually build your bowling volume.
  • Start a pre-season targeted and specific physical program that includes pre-strength, conditioning, flexibility and shoulder, hip and core stability and of course bowling well before the season starts. 12 weeks is good, 16 weeks is better.
  • In conjunction with Mitch Johnson, I have developed a training app that addresses all the physical training and preparation a fast bowler needs to give them the best chance of success in this difficult area. The BOWLFIT will assess and program each player.
  • Jock Athletic has both a 12 week and 16 week pre season training program available as well where you can train with many other cricketers to best prepare yourself.

I understand this is a difficult area to work through; medium pace and fast bowling is a unique activity that places high and unnatural stress on the body. To give you or your athlete the best opportunity to avoid time on the sidelines through injury or sub-par performance, you need to take some responsibility yourself. I will be posting regular information to help improve the preparation and knowledge in this area.



For more infomation on our cricket pre-season programs please click the button below.





For any other questions, please contact us directly via email or phone:


Our Recommended Professionals


Errol Alcott
0459 311 430

Ciaran Williams
Fit and Flow Physiotherapy
8544 3680


Dr. David Givney
9527 3773