Cutting Edge: How the latest research can help you become a better cricketer | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Cutting Edge: How the latest research can help you become a better cricketer

Rob Ahmun is the Strength and Conditioning Coach for Glamorgan CCC. Part of his job is to stay up to date with the latest research into cricket.

In this exclusive article Rob shows us what he has found, and explains how you can use the information as a coach or player.

Throw less than 75 times a week

The more you throw the more likely you are to be injured.

Data from elite Australian cricketers has demonstrated that an increase in throwing workload is a risk factor in the development of upper limb injuries. It was found that players were much more likely to get injured if they completed more than 75 throws per week and a trend towards increased injury if they completed more than 40 throws per day.

What this means to you as a player or coach

During pre-season training:
  • Throw on alternate days, (i.e., Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
  • Keep the number of throws per session to 20 or less.
  • If you want to practice long throws from the boundary, make sure you have properly warmed up and only complete a small number of throws (i.e., 5 from 10m, 5 from 20m, 5 from 30, and 5 from the boundary).
  • Complete a well structured pre-throwing warm-up session as well as a post-throwing flexibility session

What distances do fast bowlers cover?

GPS technology has allowed sports to track how far a player has covered during the course of a game.

Most of this is spent walking, with the bowler covering approximately 2 km striding and over 1 km sprinting. Sprints occur every 70 seconds or so and last for approximately 3 seconds. The average sprint distance is approximately 20 m with players clocking up almost 70 sprints per game.

What this means to you as a player or coach

This information firmly puts cricket on the map as a high intensity intermittent sport. As such, conditioning practices should reflect the demands of the game.

Long slow runs for cricketers should be kept for off-season recovery purposes only, with the majority of conditioning done through interval training.

In terms of player recovery, it is vitally important that the player re-hydrates and re-fuels immediately post-game so that the recovery process starts as soon as possible.

How does it take for a bowler to get tired?

In an attempt to find out the effects of bowling repeated spells on accuracy, and speed, a group of six first class bowlers bowled two, six over spells separated by 45 min of light activity..

Bowling speeds were barely reduced (125.7 kph versus 124.7 kph), and accuracy was similar during the two spells. It was also found that run-up speed in the final five meters was strongly related to bowling speeds.

As a side note, perceived effort in the second spell was higher than the first.

What this means to you as a player or coach

Taken together, these results mean that you can be confident that your bowlers should be able to maintain speed and accuracy during a competition for at least six overs.

Plus, a second spell is unlikely to have any effect.

It also highlights the importance of an effective strength and conditioning program to improve peak running speed and run-up speed.

It's also important to note the increase in perceptual fatigue without any change in bowling pace or accuracy. This finding emphasizes the importance of recovery strategies between spells or following games.

Do weighted bats help?

Some people say that bat speed is one of the most successful components in striking a ball. Which is true: There is positive relationship between bat velocity and the distance the ball travels. In other words, the higher the bat velocity, the greater the distance the ball travels.

Researchers in America looked at different strategies to improve baseball bat speed by using heavy, light or standard weight bats. They found that the combination of standard, light and heavy bats (each swung as hard as possible six times each) resulted in a feeble 6% improvement in bat speed.

They also found that upper body strength (as measured by the Bench Press for 3 reps) was related to bat speed.

What this means to you as a player or coach

Although this study was conducted using baseball players, the specific order of standard, light and heavy bats might be applicable to cricket, particularly for big hitting events such as Twenty20 games!

Higher bat swing speeds would translate to greater distances that the will ball travel. Also if you are able to generate higher bat speeds you are able to wait a fraction of a second longer before deciding to swing. This extra portion of time could enable the batter to more accurately recognise the type, speed and location of the ball being bowled to them allowing for better or more correct shot selection.

It also highlights the importance of an effective strength and conditioning program to improve upper body strength to potentially improve bat speed.

Want a complete guide to strength and conditioning that cricketers can apply in the middle? Take a look at Rob Ahmun's Strength and Conditioning for Cricket at All Levels

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thanks for the tips ... this is very good and useful...

this is good tip.
What you about the base ball pitcher he throws lots of ball during the prictice session and also in the match.
some pepole says if you dont throw how you get power and control?
Can you pls clear that thing.
I agree with this Artical. I want some more detail on that (examples)

You can throw, just be careful how much you throw as your chances of injury goes up the more you throw. I'm not sure what you mean about the baseball pitcher.