‘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
“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
“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 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