Do you have trouble motivating yourself to train for cricket? Everyone has trouble from time to time, but consider the plight of an Indian coach who emailed me recently:
"I am training a senior cricket team and we are preparing for a tournament in another 15 days. The rains have started and net sessions are impossible. We don't have indoor nets. The only places we have is a small gym and a concrete car park. I have to take care of 50 players who are in the camp. Please suggest me something to keep them involved."
Now that's a challenge that requires a lot of creativity!
How would you do things in that situation? Here's my advice to that coach.
- Develop speed and agility. A gym or a car park are great places to set up some cones and run around them.
- Get the team roles in place. Teamwork is vital to a good team so find some team building exercises and split off into smaller groups to add some competition.
- Use bodyweight strength training. You can train anywhere with your own body. Use the time to improve your strength as it's the key pillar of sports performance.
- Set some goals. Plan ahead for when the rain stops. What new skills do players want to learn? What do they want to achieve in the coming season?
- Work on movement skills. Basic dynamic balance, mobility and body awareness can all be brought up to scratch with simple drills you can do in a car park or gym.
- Groove techniques. Use drills to develop new shots or iron out technical errors. Keep fielding drills to simple catching though. It's no fun diving on hard ground.
- Play another sport. Indoor sport like squash, badminton or table tennis can keep players fit and help with hand-eye co-ordination.
Nothing in that list is perfect. After all, how do you prepare for cricket when you can't play cricket?
What is clear is that most of us should feel ashamed for skipping training considering how little those guys have to work with and are still trying to improve.
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