- What do you do if you want to turn a comfortably run 2 into a well run 3?
- How do you reach those chases to the boundary to save a certain 4?
- How do you get more power into your delivery stride?
- You train yourself for speed. Or to be more specific, you train to accelerate quickly, maintain the speed over distance and decelerate quickly.
Thatï¿½s where speed training for cricket comes in.
Speed Training for Cricket
Disclaimer: Fitness for cricket is not just about speed. You need a good basic condition before you embark on a speed training programme as outlined here so don't just wade in as you may get injured or suffer health problems.
You should also check with your doctor before using any training programme. Your health is entirely your responsibility. I have a sport and fitness degree, but Iï¿½m not a doctor.
This programme should be undertaken in the off-season as part of a general fitness plan. It is particularly useful between December-March (UK season) but can be used as early as October.
Speed Training Components
Improving speed is a combination of different components. Each one needs attention to make a complete programme:
- Strength/Power. The basic explosive element.
- Sprinting Technique. Both in batting equipment and out.
- Speed Endurance. The ability to maintain speed over distance.
- Agility ï¿½ How quickly you can twist, turn, and change direction at speed: Great for running between the wickets and turning to chase in the field.
4 Week Speed Training Programme
Remember: This programme assumes you have been doing regular general training (at least 3-4 times a week) for 2 months or more.
All workouts must include a complete warm up and cool down.
In a week you should split your training time between 2-3 Strength/Power sessions and 1 session each of Running Technique, Speed Endurance and Agility.
Donï¿½t do 2 sessions on the same day.
For the best Strength/Power results I recommend a Plyometric Circuit (unless you are under 16) although a normal circuit or a sprinter weight training programme also works well.
b. Sprinting Technique
This sprinting technique programme at a Sport Fitness Advisor gives you a series of drills to perform to improve your basic technique. Consider doing these drills in batting pads.
The idea here is not to go all out for speed, but to train your muscles memory to the right action when doing full speed training.
c. Speed Endurance
For Speed Endurance, place 2 markers 40m apart. Sprint between them and rest for 90 seconds. Repeat 2 more times then rest for 5 minutes. Do this set twice more.
In week 2, increase the distance to 50m and week 3, 60m.
To make this more interesting you can work in pairs with a ball. Do the sprint but at the end add a pickup and throw to the stumps. Keep score of how many hits each person gets.
Another Speed Endurance Drill is the Fan Drill. Lay out 5 markers in a semi-circle 10m from a centre point. Starting at the centre point, sprint to the first marker and back. Then sprint to the second marker and so on. Take 90 seconds rest and repeat. You can add fielding skills here too. In later weeks, increase the distance.
There are some great agility drills to be found at fitness4cricket and EATS. Again you are trying to train your legs and lower body muscle memory to cope with fast turns and twisting.
A source of cricket specific agility drills is Games For Cricket Training by Alan Oakman (ISBN 0720712238). It's out of print now, so if you find a copy let me know.
An added benefit is that your footwork becomes quicker while batting.
Duck photo courtesy of Mark Fletcher.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008