Running between the wickets is both an art and a science. Good alert running not only keeps the score ticking over, but also it upsets the oppositionï¿½s rhythm and puts them under pressure. Every player should aim to improve their running between the wickets, even number 11. While some people are naturals at judging a run and sprinting, everyone can improve by following these 4 tips:
- Practice. There are some great drills for practising running in a live situation. Ex-Glamorgan and England batsmen Steve James put his expertise at running down to continuous cricket drills.
- Knowledge. Good runners start assessing the situation from the moment they arrive at the ground. Take mental notes: How fast, keen or old players are, which opponents have the weak arms, players who struggle when pushed and how confident your batting partner is. Every clue can count in extra runs.
- Train like a sprinter. Sprinters train to run faster. You can too, specifically with a sprint training program as part of an overall fitness plan. You can also improve your running technique with specific exercises. The best time to do this is in the off season (between December and March in the UK), but there is a theory gaining popularity that sprint training can be done in-season if you are already fit.
- Basics. Even if you ignore the other three tips, don't forget the basics of running between the wickets. Just doing this will make a difference, especially with younger players. So remember: Run the first run hard, back up, call clearly, slide your bat in and turn facing the ball.
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