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Cricket is a physically intensive game that requires the players to be fit. Cricketers must train correctly to avoid the chances of injuries. When it comes to young cricket players who are merely getting into the game, training becomes even more critical. Strength and conditioning are two essential parameters crucial for long-term success in the game of cricket.
Before even learning about the techniques in cricket, it is essential to focus on warm-up drills for fitness. These exercises can be less cricket specific and emphasize more on improving the overall fitness. The warm-up exercises should focus on:
Mobility: Introducing the child to exercise that enhances the motion of the ankle, hip, spine, etc. is crucial to ensure mobility and prevent injury.
Balance: The drills should focus on improving the dynamic balance rather than static balance. “Jump and stick” drills should work fine.
Speed: Speed and agility are essential in the game of cricket. Introduce exercises that requires children to be quick and agile.
While warm-up exercises are common for everyone, training routines will be different for the batsmen and the bowlers.
Back-foot Drill – The emphasis is to ensure that the child gets in the ideal position to play a stroke on the backfoot. The batsman should move the front foot inside the crease while ensuring it stays parallel to the crease. The elbow should be high, and contact should be made with a ball below the eye level.
Stance – Stance is the position in which the batsman is ready to face the bowler. The stance is different for different players and largely depends on the individual. The weight of the batsman should be on the balls of the feet. The knees should be slightly bent, allowing them to go to the front or back foot quickly.
Bat Grip– The batting grip is also crucial for the child since it will impact how they evolve as a batsman. For the left-handed batsman, the right hand should be on the top and vice versa. Depending on the comfort of the child, a V or O-grip can be developed.
Run Up – For fast bowlers, the run-up forms a crucial component of their entire bowling action. It can impact the speed as well as the longevity of the bowler. The run-up should be marked, practised, and tested to arrive at the most suitable one.
Grip – Grip is important for both fast bowlers as well as spinners. Grip differs from one bowler to another. E.g., Anil Kumble and Shane Warne, both greatest leg spinners of the game had very different grip.
Bowling Action – The bowling action has no longer remained simple as it used to be decades ago. Today, young kids try to emulate the likes of Malinga and Bumrah. It is essential to help them develop an action that suits their playing style.
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