Bowler Olly Stone of England reveals he’s turned to hypnotherapy to get the best of his talents


As a Warwickshire fast bowler, Olly Stone has a lot to live up to and he’s pulled a leaf out of Bob Willis’ big book to forge his own international career.

Like the late Willis, the latest English paceman from Edgbaston has turned to hypnotherapy to prepare him for competitions and believes the benefits can be recognized in an impressive second Test performance of his career in Chennai over the winter.

Stone, 27, came from a catalog of injuries and claimed match figures of four for 68 in the second game of the series defeat to India, impressive with his continued animosity in unhelpful circumstances.

Olly Stone, 27, has revealed that he uses hypnotherapy to improve himself as a fast bowler

Olly Stone, 27, has revealed that he uses hypnotherapy to improve himself as a fast bowler

‘With my injury fights, I’ve worked pretty hard on the mental side of the game just to relax. I’ve always enjoyed playing, but you work so hard to get fit and then when you go out and things don’t go the way you want, you feel in a negative state, ‘said Stone.

Also, there are times on the field when the beans go and you get into the fray like a fast bowler, then you lose that concentration and don’t stick to what has worked for you in the past. So it’s important to get on the field and treat an international like any other game rather than a major player. ‘

Stone started working with therapist Peter Marshall last year, continuing weekly chats through Zoom throughout England’s bubble life in Southampton and the winter tours in Asia.

“ I have sessions where I’m just chilling for half an hour and others that are more focused on cricket where we run through a scenario of scenarios about what it feels like when you throw your best ball. So when you first get to the top of your goal, it doesn’t feel like it’s the start of your spell, it’s past your third or fourth, ” he said.

Stone said the hypnotherapy “helped a lot” in his preparation, as well as working on his action

‘I feel like it’s something that helped a lot so it would be silly to throw it out now just because I’ve had a winter of constant cricket. It would be wrong to think I nailed everything. ‘

Stone also cites a number of technical changes made by his county bowling coach and English winter local Graeme Welch for improvement.

A regular practice exercise that involves releasing the ball from two sets of six-foot posts discourages the collapse of his action during labor, while also resisting the tendency to sit back and put pressure on his spine. A byproduct of the work to streamline and keep it upright is the improved seam position.

It has contributed to a real excitement for the 2021 domestic season, which kicks off a week after its Warwickshire peers. Today, Stone’s schedule is centrally dictated by his ECB bowling contract, which is why he will make his season debut against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on April 15, where he will play four of the six County Championship matches for the first Test of the summer against New York. Zealand. .

With Chris Woakes and Sam Curran out of consideration for Lord’s on June 2 due to commitments in the Indian Premier League and uncertainty over Jofra Archer’s availability, Stone should be in the mix.

Stone (left) has a good chance of taking part in England's first test against New Zealand in June

Stone (left) has a good chance of taking part in England's first test against New Zealand in June

Stone (left) has a good chance of taking part in England’s first test against New Zealand in June

‘Selfishly it is better for me that they are gone because it is less competition, but I also feel that if I can put together some gigs, even if they happened to be in the area, I could get my place in the squad justify it, ”said Stone.

I told myself playing a test during the winter was a tick in the box, but after performing like I did it was frustrating not to play either of the next two tests. It has made me even more determined to get back on the England side. ‘

One of the challenges for a bowler whose ability to hit the 90-mile-per-hour mark has reserved him for a role in next winter’s Ashes is to prove that his body is now robust enough to withstand the rigors of regular first-class. competitions. after playing just five in the past two and a half years.

Ever since he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament to celebrate his resignation from Moeen Ali – his last act as a Northamptonshire player – a man who prides itself on ‘always giving 100 percent’ has been sidelined by two stress fractures in his back, a side load and a hamstring problem.

But recent months have given confidence that his name could stand out among the thoroughly fast bowlers England will take down next winter.

‘That’s the tool that brought me here. I know you have to have the skill and the control, but the pace factor is always a good thing, ‘he added.

Even this winter, having the opportunity to upset the batsmen can earn you a point of difference in flipping throws.

“As fast bowlers we all sneak at the big screen when the speeds are shown, I’m not going to lie, but the nature of it is that sometimes you save a few miles per hour more than others.”