Watch the best cricketers in the world and despite differences in technique and style there are constants.
Talent, balance, coordination, strength and technique are all vital but more important is developing these factors as one.Like fingers working together to catch a ball.
As club players we want to make as much of our more limited talents as the elite do. We train when we can and work on our skills in the nets.
But just like training one finger and expecting to improve our catching, netting is not enough.
We need to look at the whole picture.
How are you moving?
Celebrated conditioning coach and physical therapist Gray Cook has mastered this approach and understands that making the most of your talent in any sport is about moving with efficiency.
Think back to a great player like Ricky Ponting.
When he plays a pull shot or a drive his positioning and balance is exceptional. The speed the ball moves off the bat comes from transferring his weight with maximum efficiency. No energy is wasted.
This basic movement efficiency is not an exclusive of the Gods of cricket though. You can learn it too.
According to Cook, by understanding how to iron out inefficient movements our batting, bowling and fielding technique will improve.
We can play with more timing, power, speed and energy:
“Movement is considered the root. On top of movement is physical conditioning; on top of physical conditioning is skill... movement and physical conditioning should be the focus because they are the foundation of skill. This may seem like common sense but athletes at all levels fail to practice this principle”
This is the opposite of what we find most coaches and players doing in club cricket today.
Most work on skill first, conditioning second and movement last (if at all).
If you read PitchVision Academy regularly the conditioning part should be becoming clearer to you. But what about basic movement skills?
I would strongly recommend Cook's easy to understand book Athletic Body in Balance for a full explanation, including a set of easy tests to find out where your movement levels are now.
But we all want to start getting better now. What tips are in the book that you can work on straight away?
Here are 5 tips:
These methods will get you started on the road to fulfilling your potential. But don't end there. As Cook tells us: Seek out your inefficient movements and iron them out, develop the strength and power of your body and finally work hard on improving your skills.
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