In the UK summertime is officially over. For most club players with the passing of BST and the falling of leaves go thoughts of cricket until spring.
That's a mistake. The winter is a great time to make big strides in your strength, endurance, power, speed and even technique.
With only indoor cricket to satisfy your itch for the game, you can focus on building up a base of fitness and skill from which you can rise to the peak when summer comes around.
Off season options
A lot of cricketers take up another sport when the weather gets cold. This is a great tactic for maintaining a general level of conditioning and strength but there is little crossover from the football field to the cricket pitch unless you are a natural at both.
A more cricket improvement based approach would be to make a plan for what you want to improve in the off season. If you feel you are not lasting the pace perhaps you could decide to let leaner and better conditioned. If you lack pace in your bowling you could work on developing your speed through specific power training.
Most major counties offer winter coaching with highly qualified coaches for reasonable prices too now. A few weeks with some one to one attention from a county coach could really see you making strides in technique.
Whatever your goals (and over a long off-season you can have several), do what Blaine and Scott recommend and make a plan. Consider it a roadmap to where you want to be in your fitness.
Personally, I would not want to spend a winter anywhere but in the gym, safe in the knowledge every session is improving my speed, power and strength. You might be more of an outdoor type or want to make things competitive by playing another sport.
Whatever you do, letting yourself go to seed until winter nets (or even pre-season matches) is a recipe for worse cricket, increased injuries and a season of frustration.
Winter, it seems, could be the most important time for your cricket.
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