Cricket training before the new season is just as important as when main play gets underway. By slowly but steadily preparing yourself beforehand, you'll start the new season in peak performance. Here are some tips to follow for effective pre-season cricket training.
Focus on match-specific training
If you're practicing using nets, concentrate on making your sessions more relevant to the actual matches by setting specific scenarios - rather than general training.
Hone your techniques
Remember, when you train using cricket nets, this isn't the same as playing outdoors, so hone your techniques to cater for this crucial difference. For instance, you can slow the ball down by placing some matting down, which can help batsmen to perfect their timing.
When you use indoor nets for training, it's easy to bowl no-balls. This can affect how well you judge your bowling distance, and thus how far you bowl once the season starts. To prevent no-balls, make sure you mark your run up correctly.
Finding your rhythm is key and one way you can achieve this in pre-season training is by marking an area using cones to define where your good ball should land. See how many times you can get the ball in the coned area when you bowl an over. To get an idea where the batter would stand during this spot bowling training, place some shoes at the striker's end.
Whilst concentrating on training using nets out of season is a good idea, it also makes sense to practice match training away from nets, such as running between wickets or fielding on a strip of astro turf.
Getting your fitness levels in top gear is vital for any cricketer before the season starts, and training that's specific to cricket (such as interval training) is a good place to begin. By building your training plan around the needs of the game, you can hone your technique, endurance, strength, power and speed. With each training session, try to improve what you're doing - such as lifting more weight, running faster or increasing the number of reps.
Consider yoga, Pilates and meditation
Cricket is much more than just mastering the right techniques; it's about staying focused on the ball, patience, mental concentration and repetition. To help train the mind to perfect these aspects, you might want to incorporate activities such as yoga, Pilates or meditation into your pre-season training repertoire.
Rest and recovery
Pre-season cricket training should involve adequate periods of rest and recovery. Ideally, take a day off each week to rest and fit in a recovery week once a month to let your body heal from any strains.
The right equipment
Now is the perfect time to check that the equipment you use for matches and pre-training sessions is in good working order. After all, if your tools aren't up to the job, you can't maximise on the training opportunities. Make sure your cricket nets are secure and not damaged, and if you need new ones, choose Henry Cowls for high-quality cricket netting solutions.