True to the name of his academy, Jones’s mission is to improve pace. Sprint faster, bowl faster. In this quest to develop complete athletes who can challenge opposing batsman with velocity, Jones has formulated a process he terms the Skill Stability Paradigm. Within this overarching framework, he first identifies three key nodes of the bowling action:
1. Back foot contact
2. Front foot contact
In order to train the three crucial components of the motion, Jones adopts a philosophy based on traditional notions of progressive overload, targeting those elements to provoke a corresponding physical adaptation.
“It’s six levels,” Steffan Jones says of his programming directed toward these goals. “There’s an isometric hold, there’s an iso-push, iso-switch, iso-catch, iso-dynamic, and iso-react. Those are the six tiers, and then we perform exercise, so it’s like holding a position, pushing, overcoming isometric, pushing against pins, it’s about allowing the drill to be your coach, to be your subconscious coach. So the bowler is fixed in key positions, and is overloaded in one of those six ways. And this allows the bowler to go through the four stages of motor learning and they don’t have to think. The drill itself takes away from their conscious mind, the drill does the coaching for them, and that’s why it works.”
“1080 obviously provides the most specific, transferrable training method there is. I can overload or I can underload, so I can assist or resist,” Jones says. “Fast bowling is all about the CNS. It’s all about desensitizing the golgi tendon organ, it’s about tolerating lots of forces—lots of eccentric work is essential. It’s about coordination, it’s about efficiency. Intra-and inter-muscular coordination is essential. That’s why a lot of my training involves bowling itself.”
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