It doesn’t matter whether you are a club, First-Class or international cricketer, keeping fitness levels up over the winter is very important.
Bryan Stronach, strength and conditioning coach for the BLACKCAPS, said if you want to be the best cricketer possible fitness is of the utmost importance. “If you want to be a top cricketer you should be steadily increasing your fitness throughout the off season,” he said.
Having a good fitness base is imperative. Starting with a combination of strength and endurance is key. Stronach said it is important to push your body during the off season as much as you do during the cricket season. “During the winter I think cricketers go wrong with not doing enough of the hard things,” Stronach said. “It’s easy to go out and do the easy things, but to have a real good base you need to do the hard things.”
Relating your winter training specifically to your cricketing skills is also important..
“They need an endurance base and real lower body strength,” Stronach said. “Good strength base programme in the gym and getting Ks into their legs. Try lunges, squats and running. Running strengthens tendons.
“The main aim for pace bowlers it to ensure they stay on the paddock.”
“They also need an endurance base and strength, but not to the degree of the pace bowlers,” he said. “Pace bowlers have four to eight times their body weight go through the body while bowling, compared to spinners who only have two to four times.”
“The strength base needs to copy what they do on the field. They still do the Ks in the legs – they are more of a power athlete,” Stronach said. “A bowler in an ODI can do 17kms while a batsman may only cover two to five kms but in short, sharp bursts.”
Other handy tips
- Try and stay off concrete. Stick to tracks, treadmills, pools and bikes.
- Train harder. In New Zealand there is a background culture that cricket is an easy sport. It’s not the case, so we need to train harder to catch up.
- Develop a work ethic. You’ll get the results from working hard.
* Image of strength and conditioning coach Bryan Stronach