This post is part of the Cricket Fielding Drills Week series. To go to part one click here.
Sometimes it's very difficult to stay motivated when trying to get fit for cricket. You want to improve your fitness, but fitness drills can seem very far detached from getting more runs and wickets. To find a balance you can combine fielding drills with fitness training.
I have already posted some fielding fitness drills here that you can try, but you can never have too many, so here are some more. These drills work well as part of a well planned fitness program and in a properly run cricket training session:
1. 4 Corner Ball Drill
Place 4 balls in a square with a stump in the middle. Starting in the middle the fielder runs to a corner, picks up and returns the ball to the keeper then runs back to the stumps. Repeat for each ball then rest by putting the balls back. Do three sets.
- Don't use a ball, instead pad up and run to the marker and back as if you were running two quickly.
- Don't have a keeper, simply shy at the stump.
2. Batter's Race Drill
Mark out an area of 22 yards and split into 2 teams (ideally padded up with bats). On the shout of 'go' the first batsman in each team sprints to the other marker, grounding their bat as if taking a quick single. As soon as the batsman crossed the line the next batsman can run. Whichever team finishes first is the winner.
- Run a two instead of a quick single.
- Turn it into a fielding competition by having a ball fed out that needs to be chased and returned.
3. Chase and Throw Drill
Place three or four balls some distance away from the stumps. The fielder begins facing the stumps. On the call, they turn, sprint, field the ball and return it to the keeper then jog back. Repeat for all the balls then swap with the keeper. Do three sets.
- The fielder/keeper begins in a lying down position.
- Use more balls.
- Have the ball fed out so it is moving.
4. Shy Drill
On cue the feeder rolls the ball into the marked area. The wicketkeeper (or fielder) runs from behind the stumps and has a shy at the stump at the other end. Meanwhile, the batsman is attempting to make his ground after running as the ball is fed. Repeat for all batsmen.
5. Ladder Catch and Throw Drills
Using an agility ladder or mini hurdles, the fielder runs from one end to the other focusing on speed and good running technique. That the end of the ladder the fielder takes a catch fed to them,returns it and runs back down the ladder in the opposite direction. Repeat five times. Do three sets.
- Try doing backwards running, two footed jumps or sidesteps.
- Make the return a shy at the stumps.
- Move the feeder to the middle of the ladder instead of the end and complete the catch/return in the middle of the drill.
- Add a 10m sprint at the end of the ladder before the catch/return
- Add several cones in a curved shape after the ladder to simulate running around the boundary (you can have two ladders and two boundaries to square it off if you like).
- Add an extra ladder in line with a feeder in the middle. After completing the first ladder the feeder rolls the ball out away from the ladder the sets off on the second ladder. The first fielder fields the ball and throws it to the feeder who has completed the ladder drill.
- Use a heavier ball to catch and return (but counter balance with a tennis ball and normal ball on a 3:2:1 ratio).
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If you want a more comprehensive guide to reducing injury risk and increasing cricket specific fitness, check out county strength coach Rob Ahmun's guide on PitchVision Academy.
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