In-Season Training for CricketersJul 28, 2022
How should cricketers train during the year?
Depending on the time of year, crickets need to be training in different ways. This phased training approach is referred to as training periodization or seasonal programming.
Is in-season training important? What should the training volume and intensity be? How many days/week should I train?
To answer these questions, it is important to know the different seasons in a training year.
- Off season is the period between competitive seasons for cricketers. This is when athletes have reduced cricket matches so they can focus the majority of their time on strength & conditioning activities to get stronger, faster and work to decrease risk of injury.
- Pre-Season is generally 4-6 weeks before the start of the competitive season. This is when a greater volume of sport-specific training is done along with 2-3 Strength and Conditioning Sessions per week.
- In-Season is the time period where in the games are going on in full-swing. This is the time that athletes aim to be at their physical best. Here, there is a high-frequency of sport-specific training coupled with Strength and Conditioning Sessions once or twice a week.
Importance of Training During In Season
In season training helps one perform to the maximum potential.
If you are losing some of your strength, speed, and power gains by stopping training, you are becoming less athletic. What happens to your sports performance if you become less athletic? It decreases considerably.
When are the most important games or tournaments? Generally, they are at the end of your competitive season. So, if you stopped training at the beginning of the season, you will be less adapted for cricket performance for the most important part of your year compared to when you left the off-season. So in-season training with monitored loading and training frequency should be given paramount importance.
Reduces the Risk of Injury
Some of the most common instances causing injury are during high-speed/ high-force scenarios, like sprinting or a sharp change of direction. If your muscles and tendons are not prepared for these types of movements, a pull or tear can be likely. Being periodically exposed to these types of stimuli during an in-training program will ensure your body is well prepared to handle it during the season. This is why a large body of research shows that when athletes engage in small amounts of high-speed running and strength training during the season, their injury rates significantly decline.
The fitter you are, the less taxing games and practices become. This will result in less fatigue overall. You will be less sore, and fresher for the next game. You will also be able to handle more games and more practices. Imagine how much better of a season you would have if you didn’t get super tired or beat up from a practice. This allows you to focus more time on energy on developing your sports skills which will help make you a better athlete.
Cricket In Season Strength & Conditioning Program
Now that we know the importance of in-season training, let’s look at how a good Strength and Conditioning Program looks in-season:
- It complements your sport. A good strength and conditioning program always gives top priority to your sport.
- It allows the athlete to be in the best possible physical state by incorporating High Intensity, Low Volume during a season, the cricket games are often played with high intensity with a lot of Sprinting, Jumping, and COD. A good Strength and Conditioning program incorporates all of these with focus being on High Power output (i.e. Intensity) and lesser volume as compared to one’s Off-Season and Pre-Season.
- The Frequency of Strength and Conditioning Sessions are less and it gives most of the space/time to Cricket Specific Training. There is no ideal total number of sessions/week, but ideally a session or two with 4-5 cricket skill specific sessions is the ideal scenario for any cricketer.
- The program has a lot of a) Power-related workouts like Box jumps, Power cleans, Hang snatch, lots of bounding work and power training in Frontal and Transverse plane. This is basically high-speed strength. The game of cricket requires one to be quick and it is important that your training program involves dynamic movements.
- Strength maintenance work should be taken care of in one’s training program. The main priority during one’s off-season is to achieve Maximal Strength. One should focus on maintaining the same during their “In-season”. This will ensure that the Cricketer's base level of Strength is maintained whilst working on other parameters like Power, Speed, and Endurance.
Summarizing In-Season Training
- A properly implemented in-season program will maintain/improve performance while also decreasing your risk for sports-related injuries.
- In-season training will help one to maintain your Pre-Season strength and Hypertrophy gains whilst building on other physical traits like Power, Speed and Endurance along with Sport-Specific skill Training.
The Movement System has a Cricket-Specific Strength and Conditioning Program which gives in-season training due importance. Check out the full 12 week program here.
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