Coming back to playing cricket after some time away from the game is hard work.
A lot of cricket specific movements are not reflected in real life and bowling is, frankly, an unnatural thing to do. That means returning can cause players to perform below their best and be very sore after their first few games.
Although there is no way to get around this, you can reduce the worst effects by some careful planning.
- Set a realistic goal. You may have been a star player in your youth but trying to step in where you left off will lead to disappointment. Instead try setting yourself a really simple to achieve goal for the first season. You are more likely to achieve it and you can raise the bar for next summer.
- Don't let soreness put you off. Until your body gets used to using your muscles for cricket you may well be very stiff. Its normal (called DOMS) and it never fully goes away, even in the fit. But it will get less with every game you play.
- Know the best ways to recover. You can speed up your recovery from DOMS in a number of ways. Rest is the most important way to recover: Never train or play if your soreness is affecting your technique as it may lead to injury.
- Take your time. There is no rush to perform at your best from the first game. Set aside time where you know you will be weak. This may be up to a whole season.
- Train and play. Make sure you train both cricket-specific fitness and cricket skills as much as you can. The stronger, fitter and more used to cricket you are the better you will become.
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