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Playing Cricket Again: Part Three (Fitness)

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Got a Plan, got the Equipment, found a Club, now need to get Fit, specifically cricket fit.

To be fair I am reasonably fit in so much as I walk 5-6 miles regularly with the dogs on Cannock Chase which is not exactly flat, and I regularly cycle 16km on the stationary bike. I have an on/off relationship with my abs and stretching routine for my various injuries, and I eat pretty well, and drink way less than I used to.

I have done two net sessions now and have been pleasantly surprised how well I have batted, but they have identified quite a few areas that I need to work on:

  • my grip and stance need refining from my old one to take into account my lower back and neck “issues”. This means a slightly more open and upright stance to ensure my eyes are level and bat comes down straight. Not a big issue, this falls into the Muscle Memory category.
  • my arms need building up, and I have found that my left elbow is a little sore and uncomfortable with the above stance. Repetition and strength needed here.
  • defensive shots not an issue but I am losing balance on an attacking drives which I think is partly not having done it for years, but mainly the strength in my legs in particular the stabilising muscles need developing.
  • I will always have issues with my back, neck, left hamstring and left knee so a regular session working on the pilates, core and stretching that I have done to varying degrees over the years is a must now.

I have not doing any fielding or game like running yet, but I know what I need to do.

  • my shoulder is better that it has been for a while but I would struggle to throw it far or hard at the moment, so a lot of work is needed developing my throwing. Tennis ball, wall, Tito and Marti will help with this.
  • I have always been a good catcher and just a few sessions throwing a tennis ball at a wall at varying angles and heights has not caused any concerns, other than my hands are soft! For now all I can do is practise over the winter with a tennis ball but before next season I need a proper “pre season” to get them rough and ready!
  • I am going to increase and vary my session on the bike to include two interval and one stamina sessions, and I am adding a weekly run with Tito to his (and my) schedule on Cannock Chase which should help with overall fitness and strength in legs, and with stabilising muscles.
  • I need to find a location where I can do a weekly running session: various pace stop start, twists and turns to get the body used to a wider variety of movement.

The other area that will need a lot of work will be the stance, trigger movement and general awareness of where I am at the crease. For now it’s back to my teenage years in a room in my own in front of a mirror, but hopefully a weekly winter net will help with this.

I do need to lose some weight, but can’t really set a specific target as the above will hopefully find and add some long lost muscle, but I suspect something in the region of a minimum of 5kg is required, ideally more no doubt!

Sounds very serious, and I am, as not only am I looking forward to playing and socialising again, I am really looking forward to having this to focus on over the next 4-6 months. It is obviously unclear what next year will allow COVID-19 wise but I am working on the schedule of general fitness training until end of February then hopefully a month or so of more specific pre season type training, before the season starts April/May.

I am not being unrealistic. I have been down and watched a few games of the 3rd/4th and Sunday teams and I reckon that I can hold my own if I focus on the above.

Time will tell. I will probably try and keep some kind of record of how things are going in the comments below.

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