Strength Training for Cricket

The 5 keys steps to a truly effective Cricket Strength Training Program

1. Needs Analysis

Cricket is such a unique game – and particularly in the way that it requires ability in so many different athletic positions, where the demands from role to role (batter and bowler for example) are so different. Therefore, the first step is to truly understand the demands required in a game of cricket – and to put together the key physical qualities that you require to develop in your primary role in cricket, and what types of abilities are required in greater levels for your role. For example, if you are a batter, rotational power would be of greater significance than a bowler, or similarly if you are a pace bowler, single leg strength and power – particularly in decelaration/landing (just picture the last couple steps of a fast bowling action) would be of greater significance than that of a batsman. Part of your needs analysis must also include roughly how you think you rate in terms of the physical requirements you have identified and where you think you need the most improvement, in order to prioritise the training going forward.

 

2. Goal Setting

Goal setting ties in very closely together with your needs analysis – and prioritising which are your primary areas of focus from your training. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage about it being impossible to get anywhere without first knowing where you are going.’ Without setting your key few goals from your strength training, you will have no way of really knowing whether you are progressing, and how well you are progressing. Furthermore, goal setting is vital in terms of maintaining motivation – if you feel and can see that you are working towards something specific – and even better can see the progress being made to these specific goals – you will feel energized and strive forward further, when without these goals, you can find motivation wanes particularly during the middle of the season and perhaps the season begins to stretch on a little more.

 

3. Functional exercise selection

Central to the best possible strength training program for cricket is the selection of functional exercises with the most ability to have the highest level of carryover to a game of cricket – and in the most time efficient manner (and being realistic about how much time you can dedicate to it.) There are many things that go into an exercise being truly functional for cricket, and you will find more in depth discussions on other articles on this site. But suffice to say, if your exercises are things like bicep curls and leg presses and shoulder raises, the reality is you will experience very minimal benefit – if any at all – in terms of benefit to performance on the cricket pitch. So I encourage you to ensure you do your research (which is exactly what this site is designed for) on this if you are serious about your strength training having benefits on your cricket.

 

4.Programming the exercises correctly

When it comes to training for specific physical abilities (jumping higher, accelerating, decelerating, changing directions, sprinting, overall power, etc) ‘3 or 4 sets of 10’ just wont cut it. In some cases, this sets and rep scheme is fine. But the main point is that the sets and reps and equally importantly the forgotten variables of rest time between sets and the speed of movement (tempo), will depend on what the exercise being performed is, and what the goal of the exercise is. There is no ‘ideal’ sets and reps and tempo that can be outlined here – only the fact that this depends on the aim, the exercise and also the time of the year. But this is important, because as far as the program itself, the exercises are only the first step. Without appropriate programming and also periodisation, even the best most functional exercises will not provide maximal return on investment from your training. These programming variables (speed of movement, sets, reps, rest times) are covered and laid out for each exercise in Strength & Power Training for Cricket.

 

 

5. Periodisation

The 3rd vital part of the actual program itself (with the functional exercises and the proper programming.) Periodisation is basically the practice of breaking down the training year into different periods, in which you focus on specific goals in that period, before moving onto the next period and changing things up – or progressing. However, more than just moving from one period to the next, the best way to think of periodisation is more like a pyramid – where 1 period is built on top of the previous, with the current periods training effectively laying the foundations for a different and more challenging layout in the next period. Periodisation is discussed in more detail in other articles on this site and also Strength & Power Training for Cricket. But suffice to say, without at least some form of periodisation, results will not be optimised. But that is important – it doesn’t need to be overly technical and intricate a plan – don’t be put off by falling into this belief. You simply need follow the most basic principles of periodisation, in order to enhance your program.

 

          

 

So there you have it, the 5 key steps – and to be performed in that order. If any one of them is missing, or if you skip steps at all, your program and the benefits experienced from it will not be anywhere near your optimal.

Cricket Athlete