1. Cardio Vascular Fitness (Aerobic) i.e. stamina Aerobic fitness is the ability to sustain exercise for a prolonged period of time. It relies on the body’s ability to continually take in air, transfer oxygen from the lungs into the bloodstream and from there to the muscle cells to enable the appropriate chemical exchanges to be made to produce energy. In Cricket, aerobic fitness helps you to keep up a high work rate throughout a match and to recover quickly from intense bouts of work.
Training involves long periods of steady exercise that can include jogging, swimming and cycling. The most effective of these for cricket is jogging. If you have not jogged regularly before, start with a length of time or distance that you feel you can complete and gradually build this up until you are completing a minimum of 20 minutes. You should be able to jog at a pace at which you are able to hold a short conversation without getting out of breath.
The responsibility is on YOU to plan this into your week. Coaches can give advice on helping you to “start the habit”. If you do not work on this aspect, you will not benefit as much from anaerobic training and skill drills performed at county training. 2. Muscular Endurance i.e. the ability to keep going/withstand fatigue. It is essential to the sports performer e.g. towards the end of a game or when a game goes into the last overs, the team whose players have better muscular endurance will be in the more favourable position.
3. Flexibility Suppleness is the ability to articulate the limbs and joints around a wide range of movement. In cricket, this is important in order to stretch for a ball that is going past at a fast speed in the field and will also help to overcome off balance situations. Stretching exercises will be covered as part of normal warm up and cool down sessions but if you wish to extend your suppleness, you will need to do further stretching for longer periods in your own time. Improvement in fitness will only come about through training. There is a close link between being able to sustain a high skill level throughout a match and a high level of all the aspects of fitness.
4. Muscular Strength Strength is the ability to exert a force on an object. In cricket, strength will enable you to provide a powerful shot and to perform strong and powerful movement in the field. Core strength is the ability to control our own balance and movement and to resist movement on ourselves. In cricket we are looking to use core strength to enable us to hold a strong, balanced position in order to perform skills and to resist any movement or force which may be directed at us.
Some strength training will be covered at training sessions but this will only be using your own body weight as resistance. A strength training programme is available for those who do not currently access weights. Skill Related Aspects 5. Agility is the combination of speed and co-ordination. It allows you to efficiently change direction and body 6. Balance is the ability to maintain equilibrium – can be static e.g. handstand where centre of gravity is over its area of support or dynamic when an athlete needs to retain their balance whilst in motion. 7. Reaction Time – This is the time between a stimulus being detected and the first movement in response to it e.g. the time taken between the gun going off and the sprinter starting to move.
8. Co-ordination – speed and agility. Anaerobic Fitness Anaerobic Fitness is the ability to perform explosive movements which last for a limited period of time, e.g. a jump to intercept a pass, close marking of an opponent, driving for a pass. Training involves short but intensive bursts of activity with appropriate recovery time between each exercise. This aspect of fitness training will be included in county training sessions. 9. Power – is a combination of strength and speed and enables you to provide strong movements AT SPEED, for example jumping or throwing. See above for training provision. 10. Speed is the ability to move from A to B as fast as possible. In cricket, it is important to be able to get from one end of the pitch to the other to complete a run.