Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fitness training schedules for T20 aspirants

The advent of T20 cricket has truly changed the fitness landscape of today's cricketers. 

Along with building a skill set to compete on the world stage, international cricketers also need to be genuine athletes with strength, agility, speed and flexibility all at a premium. Fitness training is no longer only confined to the 'pre-season' but requires dedicated and committed attention all year round. 

To compliment skill development and game sense training, the following core fitness parameters are crucial to be able to prepare a cricketer to be able to make runs, take wickets and field up to the standards of the modern game. 

Martin Gleeson, Chief Executive Officer, Sports Education Development India Limited (SEDIL) and fitness trainer Frank Mapranny, who trained cricketers from Cricket India Academy team as apart of Cricket Australia list out fitness tarining schedules for all you aspiring T20 players who wish to swing the bat for their country, city or may be your gully! 

Strength and Conditioning (6-10 weeks) 

A sport, specific program is ideal for focusing on improving speed, strength, endurance, power and agility. 

In brief, an individual needs to build their base strength. Moreover, as the athlete progresses in the program, multi-joint (compound) exercises would be added to improve on the overall strength of the player. 

Plyometrics (6- 10 weeks) 

Cricket involves explosive actions and requires sudden generations of speed. Acceleration is crucial and a plyometric program would ensure that the athlete is ready for these ballistic movements during match time. 

Core Conditioning program (6- 8 weeks) 

Whether it be batting, bowling or fielding, a cricketer is required to move quickly and effectively in all directions. Researchers have posited that a movement in the distal limbs is originated from the core (rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis and the erector spinae). Hence, a program that focuses on challenging the core needs to be implemented. 

Cardiovascular Conditioning (6- 8 weeks) 

player needs to continually improve on their cardiovascular functions. A fast bowler losing breath after an over is not a good sight and without good cardiovascular base, a player will be unable to stay at the top of their game for the full 40 overs. 

Therefore, interval training would be an interesting addition to the routine, high intense cardio mixed with long continuous bout would imitate the metabolic demands of cricket. 

A strong cardiovascular base will also assist in a cricketer being able to recover quickly after a match thus allowing them to perform at their best continuously with today's heavy playing schedule. 


Mobility/ Injury prevention drills in a program would assist an athlete to recover and be injury free. Moreover, inclusion of Pilates & Yoga based programs would also help the player to recover and remain fresh from a gruelling fitness regime. 

Mental Practises 

The requirement of mental training techniques such as imagery, relaxation and self talk is paramount. The role of a sport psychologist can be to improve the positive attitude of the players and help them in their performance. 

Typically, off season is the usual time where fitness is heavily focused. However, with an elite cricketer in today's environment, a genuine 'off season' doesn't really exist. Therefore, its important that well planned fitness training programs focused on the above principles are incorporated into a player's yearly schedule to ensure he is at his peak and able to perform at his best when the game demands it.

Frank Mapranny & Martin Gleeson

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