Before I get stuck into the details, I would like to write a little bit about the 'whys' of cricket fitness.
Why is fitness important for cricketers?
Cricket, like any other sport, requires a certain level of fitness in order to perform the basic tasks which make up the game. The three ‘jobs’ of cricket, batting, bowling and fielding use different muscle groups and slightly different ratios of the energy systems (more about this in future posts) in order to carry out thier basic constituents. For example, some tasks like jumping to catch a ball require explosive strength in the legs (mainly the hamstrings) in order to leap up as high as you can, whereas batting is more about the connection of related movements (called a kinetic chain) in order to hit the ball. Chasing down a ball will make you out of breath, but hitting a cricket ball will not (hopefully!), yet doing both over the course of a game will fatigued you. It is clear that a cricketer needs to be capable of many functions in order to be the best cricketer they can.
The right sort of fitness training will improve you ability to perform these functions. Naturally, some people will better runners than others, some will be known for thier natural strength. However, whatever your natural level, everyone can improve with the right sort of training. The right sort of fitness make these tasks easier, more efficient and less nackering. In other words, if you’re cricket fit you’ll be able to hit the ball further, jump higher, ran faster and for longer and it will help you to get out of bed on Monday :-D.
So, now that we recognize that fitness is important in cricket, it’s natural to ask the following question:
How do we get fit for cricket?
Although this may seem like an easy question to answer, it’s done incorrectly at clubs all round the world at many different levels.
For example, has a coach ever asked you to run round the pitch? I know I made my young cricketers do this every training session last year as part of the warm-up. So, here's another question: when have you ever had to run that distance in a cricket match?
Answer: NEVER!!! So why should you train for a medium distance? The answer is that you shouldn’t. If you’re at a cricket training session, never again shall you run around the pitch.
In the past I’ve been guilty of training the wrong way of cricket. We need to talk about the right way. The purpose of this site is to inform you of the right way, which will result in improvements in your game.
Hopefully that gives you a taste of what's to come.
Next time: what does a cricketer need?