If you can improve your coordination you will get stronger and faster on the cricket pitch.
This works because the more your body's nervous system is able to activate the fibres in your muscles quickly and in the right order, the more efficiently it operates.
Most club cricketers are not making the most of this efficiency potential and so are not using their hidden reserves. Lucky for you, it's quite easy to tap into them with the right approach.
It's worth noting that this plan seems deceptively simple. If taken on it's own it certainly is, but it's nothing without combining it with effective fitness and skill training.
- Relax. Roy Palmer, in his excellent book "Zone Mind, Zone Body" uses an example to show how we can get into bad body habits: When you are straining in the gym do you pull a face? Most people do but it is counter productive as you are using the energy you need for training to gurn instead. The situation is no different with a bowling action or shot, what feels right to you may be highly inefficient and you don't even realise it. The solution is to teach yourself to become more relaxed and in the moment, taking away inefficient tensions in your shoulders, face or anywhere else and using your energy stores to do what you want. I recommend you buy Roy's book for a more detailed explanation.
- Activate. Our body is full of imbalances caused by day to day life. Sitting down teaches your nervous system to activate your hip flexors and relax your hamstrings which is a recipe for injury as soon as you sprint a quick single. To overcome this you need to reactivate your underused muscles as part of your warm up. Simple movement exercises for your 'core' shoulders, hips, hamstrings, bum, lower back and abs like the cook hip lift and lunges with twists will show your nervous system it needs to use these muscles and lets you recruit them more quickly while you are playing. The result: more speed and power.
Don't be put off by the lack of traditional "hard work" in this approach. It's about relearning the basics of efficient movement. Juggling is a skill but it doesn't need a lot of hard work, just practice. Getting more cricket power through a fully activated nervous system is the same.
© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008
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