I hope England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has been misquoted. Because if he hasn't, he doesn't listen to his strength coach and, worse, is perpetuating myths about fitness and cricket.
Here's a line from an article about the Sussex gloveman:
"Prior reckons that he got too bulky last winter and that it affected his speed of movement. He has made a conscious effort to slim down in South Africa, changing his training routine from a weights-based programme to resistance training, including more core work. He has a lighter and more toned frame and is more agile."
Agile good, bulky bad. What's not to like? After all, he's certainly improved his wicketkeeping in the months between the tours of West Indies 2009 and South Africa 2009-10.
The subtext is this: Wicketkeepers who do weights-based training get too bulky and less skilful. All Prior's problems with the gloves can be tracked to his fitness plan.
Except for the tiny fact he is talking rubbish.
I agree 100% that you need to be agile to be a good wicketkeeper. I also agree that core work is an important part of any cricketer's training. But saying you are too bulky for cricket is like thinking you don't have enough legs to drive a stick shift.
As we have argued on this site many times: It's impossible to be too muscle-bound to play cricket.
In fact, it's preferable to be strong, because strength is a factor in speed and agility.
In using words like 'bulky' and 'toned', Prior is throwing us a red-herring. We assume there are different types of strength: The great big bodybuilders at one end and the svelte-like athletes at the other. It's not based in fact. It's not an either/or. You can be strong and agile, you just need to train like an athlete.
Also, while we are at it, what exactly is the difference between weight-training and resistance training?
As far as I know they are exactly the same thing.
Let's write this off as a bad day for Matt. He's a professional cricketer, not a strength coach. But let's get our facts straight shall we?