Get Ready on Game Day with This Scientific Method | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Get Ready on Game Day with This Scientific Method

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This is guest article from Steffan Jones

Warming up can get pretty scientific nowadays. Here's a simple, effective game day warm up that I use if I want to be at my best.

The first point is this: we know that you can "warm up" your mind and nervous system a long time before you start playing. So the warm up on game day starts as soon as you wake up!

Don't worry though, I've tested all this myself and know it works well if you have prepared properly through the week.


So what do you do when you wake up?

I start with 1 teaspoon of alkalysing salts in a cup of water. And some other supplements.

Some players can benefit from some caffeine here about an hour after waking, but be careful, it's powerful stuff and not for younger players or inexperienced trainers.

9am: Activate Your CNS

At 9am, it's time to get yourself awake and fire your central nervous system (CNS).

Do this by combining light med ball throws with box jumps: three sets of six reps on two different types.

Follow this up with a post-workout drink.

Then it's time to eat! The meal should be whole food consisting of:

  • Salad or Vegetables
  • 1 portion (size of palm of hand) Low glycemic carbs like Sweet Potato
  • 1 portion protein like a chicken breast or 6 egg omlette
  • 1 portion of fat like Handful of nuts/teaspoon Olive oil or coconut oil or half an avocado

Pre game warm up

When you arrive at the ground the team will warm up together. You may have no control here about how you warm up together, but try to do something like this:

  1. Raise body temperature. This can be performed as a slow jog around outfield, shuttle running or ladder drills. I would get the ball introduced early as well.
  2. Activate. "Wake up" the smaller stabilising muscles with bands, light med ball throws, planks and other core work.
  3. Mobilise Light exercises to increase range of motion around key joints, like the hips and ankles.

At this point, batters and bowlers should separate. Batters should move on to having throw downs and bowlers step up the intensity of the warm up. This is the game ready section which will consist of movements that are specific to bowling.

  • Bowl 5 balls off 2 step run up
  • Bowl 5 balls off short run up but with good intensity
  • Bowl 3 balls each with weighted cricket balls: 200g ball, then 180g ball then 110g ball
  • Bowl 2 balls with cricket ball off full run.

Post warm up

If you are an opening bowler then it’s easy to warm up. You have an hour to do it properly and then you are unleashed on the opposition. However as a change bowler you could end up warming up 3 times in the day before you actually get to bowl the ball!

The key is to follow the warm up protocol every time. The only difference is in the volume.

So you’ve done the early morning session, the pre game session and now you've had the call to bowl. Please make sure the captain tells you at least 2 overs before you bowl. It’s not too much to ask them. That gives you 6-10 minutes to warm up.

Make sure you get ready to bowl however tired or stiff you feel. Get the stiffness out now or the batter will capitalise on it and all that weekly preparation will be wasted because the captain will take you off.

At tea break

Try and stay away from bread, sausage rolls and processed foods that are given at match day teas. If in doubt bring your own:

  • Salad or Vegetables
  • 1 portion Low glycemic carbs like Sweet Potato
  • 1 portion protein like a chicken breast or 6 egg omlette
  • 1 portion of fat like Handful of nuts/teaspoon Olive oil or coconut oil or half an avocado

After the game

After the game, the post-match window is crucial for the quality of the week's training coming up.

Get a recovery drink in quickly and then perform a series of static stretches and foam rolling.

Have a healthy meal before bed, especially if you bowled second and need the nutrients.

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