How to get fit for Cricket.
When you see many village games of Cricket, you wonder how some of the guys can play the game, given their size and lack of fitness. Most of these players request to field in the slips, so they are able to rest their beer belly, on their knees, when fielding. Clearly not all clubs are like this but, most teams in lower league Cricket have more than their fair share of 'well rounded' Cricketers.
What can you do about this if you are the Captain?
- You could implement a training plan that focuses more on fitness, early on. I would suggest the players that need the increased level of fitness training would be the ones to find a reason to miss it.
- You could, threaten players with non selection if they do not attend the Cricket fitness sessions. You might find yourself backed into a corner though, when you are short of players to fulfill a fixture.
- You could even accept that your team will have a mix of sizes, abilities and fitness levels.
I have introduced a fitness plan for my under 15 team for the Winter nets, that start in January. We will of course do:
- Shuttle runs
- Bleep tests
- Sprint training
- Core conditioning
- upper body strength training.
The above are already way beyond some clubs efforts at improving the fitness levels within their team. We, however, do not think it is enough. Most players will hate me for pushing them so hard but, most also want to achieve at Cricket and play at a higher level. So how can we improve the fitness levels, make it Cricket related and also have fun?
I have devised some drills that are basic Cricket drills but with an endurance element to it.
- Endurance Catching. Players have to run 10 metres, to a cone and successfully take a catch, return to the wicket keeper, turn, run to another cone and successfully take a catch. This continues until 20 catches are taken.
- Endurance ground field catching. Set up staggered cones, over 30 metres. Player runs to the first cone and takes a catch, the player must then throw the ball back to the wicket keeper, they then run forward to the next cone and take a catch. This continues until the player is around 5 metres away from the ball feeder.
- Endurance Ground Fielding. This is the same as above but, the ball is hit along the ground to the furthest cone, the player runs in, fields the ball and returns to the keeper. They then run to the next cone and continue the drill until they are 5 metres away from the feeder.
- Endurance running between the wickets. Two batsmen will continue running between the wickets until the other team of six players complete 50 successful catches. These fielders must be at least 10 meters apart. See which pair can complete the most runs.
We have had lots of interest in these drills from other local clubs. Please feel free to use them and let me know how you get on. We will be adding more drills to our training plan and i will let you have some of those soon. If you have any drills that would work well with the fitness plan, again please leave me a comment.
I am a ECB level 2, cricket Coach at Abingdon Vale Cricket Club.