Happy New Year to all the Cricket world! Whilst we're Cricket mad year round at the Cricket Asylum, we're well aware that the New Year is when most Cricketers start to think about the upcoming season... Making plans to get more runs and take more wickets etc, we want to help make these dreams of success become a bit more of a reality.
It's all good setting goals, but now is the time to put in place a plan of how to get closer to achieving them. Whilst things need to be specific for you, we've put together 8 simple ideas that will help all amateur cricketers gain a little extra percentage over their opponents.
Let's face it, most professionals are finely tuned athletes training day in day out these days, so the percentage margins for performance are small, they do add up to making a huge different but the margins are small. As an amateur sport the range of fitness levels, standards in the field, commitment to training and more all vary massively from club to club or player to player... What this means is by making some of the changes below you can benefit from some huge advantages over your rival teams or even team mates vying for the same spot in the team...
Beware the shameless plugs of us offering click throughs to our relevant services & partners! Whether you click or not it's all good we hope you get something from this and have a great year and a top season!
Get Fit- It's on every New Year resolution list... but if it's gonna lead to more success on the Cricket field then lets make it stick. To help make it last why not sign up to a gym class, hire a PT, do an online program or even get your team together for some pre season boot camp training! Shameless plug number 1- At TCA we now have our own gym & onsite personal trainer as well as our online fitness program that can be done at home with little equipment required!
Play the long game- The season is long, even for amateurs playing once a week the commitment of playing every weekend (especially if you're losing a few) is tough. So prepare your self to keep it going all season, adding in some new ideas to training like from number 3 will help keep training fresh or utilising number 6 to keep you chilled and focussed. Or even playing another sport or doing something different like a long walk in the middle of the week just to give you mind a break from Cricket may help...
Improve club training. Add a little to your club training to make them more focussed, getting a coach or an experienced player to lead the sessions is a great option. But just adding some fielding practice or a proper warm up each week can shift the focus for the better. We always recommend making senior nets competitive, it adds fun and improves focus! Try a 'when you're out you're out' session or bat in pairs running a 3 every 4 balls to swap- just a couple of ideas for you but we'll do a full article on this at some point!
Sort out your nutrition- It's a bit of a voodoo subject in club cricket, fast food on the way to the game or a big tea before opening the bowling- we've all seen it and many will have done it! But by making a few small changes you could feel and perform better on match days and year round! Prep is key, make sure you've sorted it the day before so you're not rushing around on match days. Fruit & nuts for snacking, breakfast of porridge with fruit & nuts, make good choices at tea or take your own if you're super on it! And it just so happens we've signed up a professional sports nutritionist to work with our Ultimate Academy that starts later this month!
Lose weight- It goes hand in hand with 1 & 4 of course. but imagine carrying a couple of stone less when you're charging in to bowl or running 2s and 3s! Just to see fill a rucksack with 2 stone of stuff and see how it feels on your back. Our simplified advice here is real food not diet gimmicks!
Improve your mental game- Hard to help in a small paragraph as its a huge subject that is different for every individual. But we'll give it a go with one tip on breaking down concentration- we only need to focus for about 5 seconds at a time and don't want to be too intense non stop until we blow up and make a mistake! So relax between balls- admire the scenery and take a breath, have a laugh with a team mate or offer some positive chat in the field. Then switch on when you need to at the end of your run, when walking in or as the bowler is running in. You don't have to be Steve Smith but recognising a little habit you have or use a word in your head as a switch on trigger may help! This is something we can really tune into during 1:1 coaching sessions.
Help a team mate- it ain't all about you! If you want a successful season for the team then help out a team mate, it may just be words of support or throwing them some balls at training but it may go a long way if they're struggling! So when you see the keeper throwing down filthy off spin in the nets grab a bat and hit them some catches...
Improve your technique. Well given the fallout over the ashes (and the first ball of the ashes!!) we couldn't miss this out, and it's last but by no means least! We're never too old to improve technique, bad habits creep in over time and just a little time with a coach making a simple improvement could add to a load more runs or wickets... Yeah we do 1:1 coaching, but if you're too far away I'm sure you'll be able to find a local coach to help!
Please comment with any ideas of your own to share, we hope you've enjoyed reading and wish you well with your pre-season preparation!
The Ultimate Academy is The Cricket Asylum's flagship year round training programme, covering just about all of the points above and so much more. So if you're an aspiring young cricketer go check it out here, apply now and you could be benefitting from expert pre season coaching and playing 2-day & T20 games in the season!