Think of a big jar. An ordinary jar that once might have contained pickles or jam. It's empty now.
Piled next to the jar is a collection of rocks. There's nothing special about them but there is just enough to fill up the jar, so you put them in. The jar is full.
Except it isn't. You can still pour sand into the jar, and quite a lot of sand too. It gathers between the gaps. Even then, it isn't full because you can pour water in until finally there is no room for anything else.
Cricket training is like the jar of rocks
There is a lot of debate about the right way to train for cricket. New methods battle with traditional approaches. More often this discussion is focusing on the small stuff; the sand and water. The big rocks are always the same.
Spend any time on cricket forums and you will find people asking for help on trigger moves or how to bowl a doosra. These things are sand and water. The big rocks need to be looked after first; grip, stance, backlift and putting your stock delivery on a sixpence while giving it a good rip.
The debate is fun and interesting, but until you have the big rocks in place you might as well be doing nothing. Waste all your time worrying about the sand and you will fill your jar with it. There will be no room for the big rocks.
What are the big rocks of cricket?
When you are training, or planning your training, you can decide what makes up your own big rocks and focus on those first. You can fill the gaps with sand anytime. Each person is different, but some examples are:
- A batsman improving the on drive and flick of the legs to increase his scoring areas.
- A bowler spending 80% of his practice time working on hitting the perfect line and length.
- A fielder making sure 20 minutes of every training session includes catching and ground drills
What are your goals? Are you focusing on the big rocks or spending too much time with sand and water?