We often talk about "training hard and playing easy" on the Pitchvision Cricket Show. It’s a principle that you hear banded around all over the place within high performance sport.
Are you all "hot air" or do you actually "walk the walk"?
World Cup winning Coach, Gary Kirsten - during a recent training camp at Millfield School - gave a couple of fantastic examples of what "training hard" looks like in International cricket.
Gary gave us an insight into the way that Hashim prepares himself ahead of a Test Match.
Hashim bats for a minimum of 2 hours in his practice sessions. He splits his sessions into the following segments:
- Batting with net bowlers with a new ball (20 mins).
- Drills all of his shots, building repetition (45 mins).
- Game Situation Throw downs. With set fields, scenarios that he is likely to face in the match and with consequences attached. He runs all of the runs to make it as tough as possible (40 mins).
- Bag of golf ball drills. A coach stands 15 yards away on an artificial or concrete surface (40 mins).
Gary used to throw a golf ball at Amla with the intention to get a wicket and to rush him. Hashim bats with only a stump. The ball bounces quickly off of the surface so it is an overtraining principle as time is significantly reduced between ball release and contact point.
Hashim took this coaching principle from the practices that Sir Don Bradman did as a boy at home.
Hashim is training his movements, reactions, contact precision and eyesight with every throw that he faces in this practice.
Gary said that Hash would keep his batting kit on even if he was waiting between the 4 transitions of his practice session. He would say,
"I need to bat for 8 hours so I had better get used to wearing the kit for long periods"
Jonty was an amazing fielder, we all know that from his run outs and catches in Test and ODI cricket.
Jonty would practice his dives on both sides over and over again: 30 balls to his right dive: 30 balls to his left. Repeat if necessary.
Jonty would not stop diving until BOTH of his elbows were bleeding! This told him that he had finished his sets. He also said that he needed to "prepare his elbows as they were going to bleed in matches too!".
These are two fantastic examples of world leading players actually 'training hard to play easy' rather than just talking about it!