Why wrestling a cougar is the best way to warm up for cricket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Why wrestling a cougar is the best way to warm up for cricket

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Creative Commons License photo credit: granth

Picture this scene.

You have just turned up at the cricket ground ready for a game, your whites are washed, pressed and gleaming in perfect readiness. From nowhere a cougar darts out and heads straight towards you.

What would you do?

There really is only two options: Run or attack. I'm betting most people would vote the former.

Fight or Flight

Don't get me wrong. A cougar attack is the last thing I would like to see happen to you at the best of times. That said, it could be the single best way to warm up out there. If it wasn't so impractical keeping a wild animal in the boot of your car.

If you did get jumped how would you feel?

The adrenaline would be pumping, your heart rate would be up and your nervous system would be running overtime to get you to sprint as fast as possible away or pick up your cricket bat and start swinging. Your basic 'fight or flight' response would kick in.

You certainly would not be slow jogging to get your heart rate up or stretching your hamstrings. You would be cold to ready in around 10 seconds flat.

Now take away the cougar bit and that sounds exactly like what we want from a good cricket warm up: readiness for battle.

Simulated Cougar Attack

I think most people would agree that it's a tiny bit too dangerous to use a real cougar to warm up. However, we can recreate the fight or flight response to make effective cricket preparation.

  1. Get moving. It's important to get all your muscles and joints moving so they are ready for action. If you were fighting the big cat you would be mobilising every joint in no time. Instead try some active stretching which will both raise your heart rate and get your body moving through all three planes of motion.
  2. Get up to game pace. Before you pick up a bat or ball you should be getting your body ready for game pace. As you don't have the cougar really there for stimulus you need to build up to high speed slowly. However you should always finish with fast paced stuff like short sprints or intense fielding drills so it feels that way. You need to be ready to sprint or dive from the first ball of the game.
  3. Get involved. It's not exactly cricket to shout and generally get riled up during training. However, the atmosphere of a warm up spills over into the game. If everyone is together and having fun stimulation levels are high and performance levels shoot up.

In a game last season my captain insisted we had an extra long warm up to practice our catching (we had dropped 6 catches the week before). By the time it was finished we were ready for battle both physically and mentally. What sport psychologists might call optimal arousal.

Not only did we win the game with ease, but we have never fielded so well, hanging on to every catch and performing a brilliant run out.

What this show is the better you are at recreating the fight response in the warm up the better you will be on the pitch. Don't waste time doing stuff you can miss out and get cougar wrestling instead.

© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008

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stretching is useless, brings your power output down.