In part one yesterday we found out about the first two levels of cricket preparation. Today we move onto the higher levels.
photo credit: thelastminute
The Level 3 player takes the game more seriously. He has ambitions to get on, moving up from whatever standard he is currently at. He is determined to improve and spends time making sure he is at his best. His team and individual performances are more important than the post match pint (but he still has one or two).
He knows the law of 10,000 and is doing as much as he can to get there. He attends nets as much as he can. He sometimes gets extra netting in by nipping down to the club with his mates. He may have even paid for extra coaching. You will probably find him at the ground early on Saturdays to warm up and get ready to play. He is as dedicated to fielding practice as he is to batting and bowling, using it for fitness as well as skill. He encourages his team mates to practice with high intensity.
He trains for fitness at least 3 times a week and knows the importance of strength training. He might use the gym weights, his own set at home or train with bodyweight. He is not afraid of getting too bulky as he knows it is unlikely even if he trains with weights. Like the other levels, he probably plays other sports too.
Level 3 eats healthy most of the time focusing his meals around natural carbohydrates like rice and quinoa as well as lean meat, fish or dairy. He eats plenty of fruit and vegetables. He keeps himself hydrated while training and playing with a sports drink or water. He moderates his drinking, eating processed food and partying although not always!
Level 3 knows the importance of mental preparation and has taken the time to identify where he needs to improve. He has set himself SMART goals and knows what he needs to do to reach them. He is aware of his body language. He knows how to deal with mistakes and is happy to put in an ugly performance as long as he gets the result he wants.
Level 4 is the ultimate in cricket preparation. He may or may not be a professional player depending on talent but he acts like one either way.
He is close to or has already reached 10,000 hours of practice. He never misses practice and often runs it to ensure it is done at high intensity and with a professional manner (even with amateurs). He will press gang anyone he can into informal practice as soon as he has time. Level 4 is first on the ground every week for a full warm up and to get his eye in.
This player trains for fitness as much as he can, which is 4-6 times a week excluding practice. He knows the principles of fitness and trains with free weights. He also uses other techniques like core training, plyometrics and medicine ball training to improve his power and speed. He knows his weak areas and trains to avoid injury. He plans his training around a structured periodised system.
When he eats he follows the 10 rules of cricket nutrition with 90% compliance.
Level 4 has excellent mental preparation having studied the techniques of sport psychology. He sets SMART targets and reaches them. He keeps a journal and is fast to identify flaws in his thinking. He doesn't let poor performance or sledging put him off in the field. He plays without fear, confident in his ability to get him out of trouble.
He gets plenty of sleep, avoids stress in his life, stays well hydrated and is constantly striving to find out more about how to improve his game.
If he is not a professional cricketer the only thing that stopped him is natural talent or bad luck. His preparation is spot on.
So which are you? I can't see there being many Level 4's out there (I would say I am somewhere between 3 and 4). Perhaps you have a combination of levels. Get in touch and let me know.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008