S&C for Young Cricketers
By Ben Scot - ex Surrey, Middlesex, Worcestershire CCC & specialist S&C In-Touch Coach
It’s becoming ever more apparent that developing better fitness levels improves cricketing performance. Many young cricketers involved with county setups now undergo regular fitness programmes and testing to see if they're as fit as they should be. It’s important for them to have the skills and movement patterns that are required for consistent performance and those skills are best developed at an early stage.
At the elite level, teams are now extremely fit utilising various fitness techniques to enhance the athletic abilities of their squads. From my own personal experience, working at my fitness has helped me play at a high level, as I have got older it helped me cope with the demands of professional sport.
Does your fitness hold you back? Do you run out of steam when nearing a century because you haven't got the stamina or do your last few overs always go for the most runs because you've nothing left in the tank? All cricketers have experienced those feeling at times.
Here are some of the main elements that a young cricketer should be focusing on:
Endurance / Speed and Agility / Strength and Power / Stability and Mobility
Extended physical exertion, anything that is fairly continuous and keeps you moving for long periods of time. Swimming, cycling, running, anything that gets you out of breath. This should take over 20min really to start building a good base to train other areas.
Speed and Agility
This form of training is very important to young cricketers. Cricket, although it can be a long game is actually made up of hundreds of small events that take place at maximal speed and require a lot of power and agility.
SAQ (Speed-Agility-Quickness) will help you develop more athletic movement patterns allowing you to run better and move in a more balanced way in the field. It's also a very good workout so try and do as much of it as you can whether it be hurdles, ladders, cones etc.
Strength and Power
Strength is basically being strong, and Power is being strong, quickly. Confused? I’ll explain. There’s one this being able to lift a heavy weight in the gym but hitting a cricket ball out of the ground requires that force to be generated quickly and on cue. Strength training should be carried out with supervision to begin with to avoid injury and increase its effectiveness. However press ups pull ups squats and dips to name but a few can be started very early in the development of an athlete.
Stability and Mobility
Stability is your body’s ability to cope with varying forces from varying directions, when a bowler lands there is all sorts of pressures being put through his back ankles, knee and hips! So training to support theses structures is essential. Mobility is the range of movement in the joints which can be developed again very early on in an athletes development.