Speed and power: Untap your hidden potential | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Speed and power: Untap your hidden potential

If you can improve your coordination you will get stronger and faster on the cricket pitch.

This works because the more your body's nervous system is able to activate the fibres in your muscles quickly and in the right order, the more efficiently it operates.

Most club cricketers are not making the most of this efficiency potential and so are not using their hidden reserves. Lucky for you, it's quite easy to tap into them with the right approach.

It's worth noting that this plan seems deceptively simple. If taken on it's own it certainly is, but it's nothing without combining it with effective fitness and skill training.

  • Relax. Roy Palmer, in his excellent book "Zone Mind, Zone Body" uses an example to show how we can get into bad body habits: When you are straining in the gym do you pull a face? Most people do but it is counter productive as you are using the energy you need for training to gurn instead. The situation is no different with a bowling action or shot, what feels right to you may be highly inefficient and you don't even realise it. The solution is to teach yourself to become more relaxed and in the moment, taking away inefficient tensions in your shoulders, face or anywhere else and using your energy stores to do what you want. I recommend you buy Roy's book for a more detailed explanation.
  • Activate. Our body is full of imbalances caused by day to day life. Sitting down teaches your nervous system to activate your hip flexors and relax your hamstrings which is a recipe for injury as soon as you sprint a quick single. To overcome this you need to reactivate your underused muscles as part of your warm up. Simple movement exercises for your 'core' shoulders, hips, hamstrings, bum, lower back and abs like the cook hip lift and lunges with twists will show your nervous system it needs to use these muscles and lets you recruit them more quickly while you are playing. The result: more speed and power.

Don't be put off by the lack of traditional "hard work" in this approach. It's about relearning the basics of efficient movement. Juggling is a skill but it doesn't need a lot of hard work, just practice. Getting more cricket power through a fully activated nervous system is the same.

© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008

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Can a leg spinner who is a finger spinner be world class.

Also I am 13 years old and would like to know how to hit more boundaries as I am not strong

HI Yusuf,

Short answer is practice and keep growing (but everyone does the 2nd bit until they become an dult). Drop me an email for more.


[...] sit on the sofa in the evenings eating crisps you end up tired, overweight and hunched over. If you train regularly, activate your cricket playing muscles and feel relaxed about things you become an efficient [...]

hey my name is BJ and im playing my first season of B grade cricket. im an opening batsmen, as well as a medium pace bowler who can also bowl off and leg spin. i also wicketkeep, i really need advice on how to open better right now im fairly cautious and i end up getting caught or bowled, i also need advice on improving my bowling

There was research done on Olympics athletes and sprinters such as: Bolt, Powell, etc (the quickest of them all) said that when they ran their pb's, they learnt to relax all their muscles and actually ran the 100/200 at 90-95%, yet smashed world records? interesting fact.