This is a guest article from Liz Ward.
Peter May once said, "the best preparation to batting, bowling and fielding was batting, bowling and fielding."
I am not going to disagree with him.
However, lifestyle today is alien to the rigours of the current game. Sitting at the computer, in cars, in front of the TV and communicating through technological wonders leave the body unprepared for cricket.
Performance is like a tunnel, the likes of Steffan Jones stand at one end.
You will find me and my therapist colleagues at the other.
We are the "go to" guys who will pick you up, dust you off and if you are lucky, send you back on the field of play.
Of course, it is possible to stick dogmatically to the views of Peter May, close your mind and walk past Steffan and his colleagues. But your time in the tunnel will be shortened as you come out to meet me and my colleagues at the other end.
I take no pleasure in seeing the physical and often psychological pain caused by rehabilitation, or telling young, unfulfilled potential that their playing days are over.
Reaching your potential has a great deal to do with training very hard. But it's not the full answer. If so, every dedicated player would be on top form.
In fact I see far more broken players than those who reach the highest level in their game.
That's why how you train is as important as how hard you train.
Smarter training for cricket
So, remember the cardinal rule to improving performance; be specific.
Performance gains are only achieved when your training closely mimics the actions necessary in your sport; when the body postures and neuromuscular patterns are specific.
Fortunately, Steffan has produced a really top Strength and Conditioning Online Course for you here at PitchVision Academy, eliminating the mystery.
His exercises are specific to the actions and forces encountered during pace bowling.
However if you do find you have picked up an injury you should not suffer in silence. The longer you hang on to any injury or niggle the harder and longer recovery will be.
"Overuse" injuries are not caused by doing something too much; they are caused by doing something incorrectly and without the necessary strength.
Sports injuries often fail traditional management with recreational players. Rest alone will not work.
In this instance the first port of call should be a therapist rather than popping anti-inflammatories. Masking an injury or niggle will not work either.
More often than not, these injuries involve muscle imbalances, tension, adhesions, myofascial trigger points and a whole gambit of issues that occur from incorrect training. You need to get specific issues identified and treated at the same time as eliminating the cause. Then you can undergo a specific strength and conditioning programme.
Why not go straight to the programme and pass all the pain and heartache?
Liz Ward is Director of Sport Injury Management working with elite, professional sportspeople and prospective Olympians/Paralympians as a biomechanist, soft tissue therapist and strength and conditioning practitioner.