The wicketkeeper is a unique specialist position and requires unique practice. A keeper needs to practice just as hard as a bowler or batter but they often don't in club cricket. To combat this, here is my series on practices wicketkeepers can incorporate into training: Either in a team session or in a smaller group.
Structure of a wicketkeeping training session
This session assumes the participants understand the basics of keeping wicket and have kept in competitive games at some level or other. If you want to understand the basics of wicketkeeping, take a look at the BBC Academy.
1. General Warm Up (10-20 min)
The warm up is vital to reduce the risk of injury, so don't do what most club players do and skip straight to the skills session. (As you will be working on cricket specifics for most of the session there is no need to undertake the cricket specific portion of the warm up.)
2. Cricket Specific Conditioning (15-30 min)
This section is designed to work on general skills, fill in the gaps in conditioning and maintain the physical condition you developed pre-season. Start with a few minutes of core stability training to help reduce the risk of injury. Concentrate especially on exercises that work the legs, ankles and knees. You can then move on to skill sessions with the emphasis on physical training over technique improvement, however you should not let your technique drop too far as you are increasing the risk of injury.
This portion should last no more than 45 minutes and if you are less fit you should cut the time back. Always do at least 15 minutes to get the benefits. It's up to you what fitness elements you focus on. You can see some example drills here.
3. Skills Practice (15-45 min)
Once you have worked on your physical conditioning you can move to working on specific skill drills. The focus here is on skill improvement and maintenance so work on areas that you feel are weaker first. This practice should take the largest chunk of time of your session no matter how long you have.
The longer the better up to the point when you are too fatigued to practice effectively (that is to say when you start to lose form). Ideally you will also have access to a coach who can give you pointers as you train, although if this is not possible then a willing training buddy will do.
4. Team Practice (30 min minimum)
If you are practising as a whole team, now is the time to get back together and do some team practice. This will not be wicketkeeper specific and will focus on team skills. You could take part in fielding drills or have a cut down practice game. Either way the idea is to be working together. If you are working in a pair or smaller group then you can use this time to extend the other parts of your practice depending on your needs.
5. General Cool Down (10-30 min)
It is essential for injury prevention and recovery that you take a few minutes to cool down. This also gives the team a change to go over the session and discuss upcoming game tactics.
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