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Thread: in between seasons - focus on fitness

  1. #1
    jan
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    in between seasons - focus on fitness

    Im no sportsman and picked cricket this season. Even if its a sport which "doesnt require being fit" and we dont get much cricket here (nets once a week + played a few matches on weekends) my body aches from it a lot. So I want to do something about me being horrible unfit for the new season which starts in april. Apart from general fitness which is much about running and lifting stuff Id like to ask about this:

    1. Foremost question. At the level at which we play cricket here (the lowest thinkable I assume) is it more important to be fit or to be skilled? That is being overall fit makes up for lack of skill or skill makes up for lack of fitness?

    2. I bowl right-arm and bat left-hand. I feel that only the right side of my body gets the load which is not good because my back is ****ed enough as it is. Lets say I excercise 40% right side and 60% left side to compensate? Good thinking or not?

    3. Is there anything I should avoid or pay extra attention to while working on my fitness/skill? Developing a bad habit is the last thing I want.

    4. Is there some sort of "cricket fitness bible" ? I googled a lot and got the obvious result - loads of information with no or little feedback so not quite sure what to pick. No coaches here.


    Thanks
    jan
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    School Boy/Girl Captain Гурин's Avatar
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    Wait wait wait, if I got it right you play in Czech Republic???

    Prague CC, Bohemians, Vinohrady or Barbarians?

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    jan
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    How on earth do you know Czech clubs?
    PCC .)

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    School Boy/Girl Captain Гурин's Avatar
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    Let me guess, you searched for "cricket" on seznam.cz and "cricket.cz" (the PCC website) was what came out first, am I right?

    I know them very well because my first club was also one out of that lot (Vinohrady, to be specific). Given that I once was in your situation, trying to learn the game in that very same league, I think I can give you some advice, even if you've chosen to play for the Evil Empire.


    So, your questions:

    1- Of course both of them, BUT, I'm sure, you have certainly noticed to be playing in a league where lot of players don't even get on their knees to stop the ball (they'd get dirty otherwise), don't run, don't jump and don't dive (not that difficult when your average player is a 35 years old englishman/australian with a beer belly). So I would recommend you to get fit, but without overdoing it: one day every week and you'll still be one of that league's best.

    Speaking about skills, we're talking about a league where an innings of 15 is considered good, a score of 80 defendable, and if you bowl at 65 mph and less than 2 wides per over you're considered an accurate fast bowler. So do absolutely work on fitness, but give the priority to skills; in 1 or 2 years you'll catch up with most of the players in ČR.

    2- I don't know much about working with weights, so I'll skip this one. Just be sure that the mechanics of your batting and your bowling are right, it might be a problem of your technique

    3- Given that 90% of the cricket you'll play will be at Vypich* (they're talking about Vinoř since god knows when, so I'm a bit skeptical about it), i can give you some impressions of mine:

    (*Brief description of the ground for anybody else who'd like to give some more advices: the pitch is made of bare Flicx, the grass is absurdely long and slow, but the boundaries are short; the ball have a very uneven bounce and swings early in the innings, however, doesn't seam nor turn.)

    Batting: Usually, a Czech teams gives an obscene amount of extras every innings; so by just staying in, you'd be doing quite something. Try just to learn to defend and to rotate the strike (leg glances and off-side deviations), don't play at balls that you're sure will not hit the stumps, and present a straight bat in every other possible situation (apart from slogging to the full tosses, very useful when the midwicket boundary is only a few metres away); give particular attention to three details:

    -Learn to move "back and across" before the delivery
    -Learn to bend your knee on front-foot shots
    -Work on your backlift/backswing!

    Everybody kept telling me "Watch the ball, watch the ball", but nobody told me what else to do, so it took me 3 years to find how to fix holes in my game, I hope it will not be as bad for you.

    Talking about bowling, just remember to jump with your left leg and to push down with your left elbow (or arm) during the delivery; then, if you can keep bowling around a lenght (to bowl there at Vypich means "Sabina Park 1998: the Revenge") and bowl no more than 1 wide/no-ball per over, you'll be doing great. If the net at Olšanské is still open 24/7 all year long (take that, players of the Australian Cricket Academy!), you just need to go down there whenever you can/want (I was bowling 1 hour everyday afterwork), and BOWL, BOWL, BOWL until you're confident about yourself.


    And that's it, pretty much. I enjoyed a lot to play over there, even if sometimes all the politics involved in certain discussions became very annoying. May I ask you how was your cricketing year?


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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    My advice is to do the following three things:

    1) Stretch

    2) Stretch more

    3) When you've finished stretching ask yourself, 'Have I stretched for at least 30 minutes?". If the answer is no then go back to step 1.

    I think you need a basic level of fitness for cricket (depending on the level you're playing of course). Swimming is good. But overall the thing that helped me the most was stretching every night (both during the season and in the off-season).

    Maybe go and see someone who can recommend a stretching program specific to your needs and then fit it around any fitness work you do already.
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    jan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    I think you need a basic level of fitness for cricket (depending on the level you're playing of course). Swimming is good. But overall the thing that helped me the most was stretching every night (both during the season and in the off-season).
    Thanks a lot for the tip SoC .)

    Quote Originally Posted by Гурин View Post
    ...
    What an awesome reply! Cheers .)

    Well I googled "cricket prague" first iirc, got those four obvious results and chose the club with the longest history.
    Played in 3 official matches in my firts cricket season. First ever appearance on field was a t20 when I subsituted for our bowler who got injured. Then got selected for another t20 and also one 40-overs match (playing in whites ftw!). There being more than 11 people available and willing to play all the time Im grateful that club's policy is to give everybody a chance. I plan on training in nets for as long as the weather is favorable.
    Being 31 I feel my progress with the game is slow, my back aches plus theres a big competition for selection but I really enjoy it

    Your comments on our league, our "ground" and our "future ground" and all that are hillarious because it seems some things just dont change

    So you played for Hugo's gang?

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    International 12th Man Outswinger@Pace's Avatar
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    Looks like we have an enthusiastic cricketer from the beautiful city of Prague. That's so refreshing to know!

    Гурин has already made some superbly well-informed comments on your specific situation. I'd second SOC's suggestion that stretching your muscles more than specific weight/strength training is a good idea.

    Living in Europe myself, I can appreciate that the layoff during the off-season can be rather long. If you can find some indoor net facility for practice during winters, that'd be great. If not, I'd suggest playing some other sport through winter to keep you fit. From a personal perspective, badminton and indoor volleyball work very well. Badminton, in particular, because it doesn't consume a lot of time, stretches and strengthens your core muscles brilliantly apart from giving you a very fun workout. All depends on your time and the availability of facilities, of course.
    That in addition to regular jogging and sprinting should take care of your fitness needs in winter.
    Last edited by Outswinger@Pace; 02-10-2011 at 05:40 PM.
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    School Boy/Girl Captain Гурин's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan View Post
    Thanks a lot for the tip SoC .)


    What an awesome reply! Cheers .)

    Well I googled "cricket prague" first iirc, got those four obvious results and chose the club with the longest history.
    Played in 3 official matches in my firts cricket season. First ever appearance on field was a t20 when I subsituted for our bowler who got injured. Then got selected for another t20 and also one 40-overs match (playing in whites ftw!). There being more than 11 people available and willing to play all the time Im grateful that club's policy is to give everybody a chance. I plan on training in nets for as long as the weather is favorable.
    Being 31 I feel my progress with the game is slow, my back aches plus theres a big competition for selection but I really enjoy it

    Your comments on our league, our "ground" and our "future ground" and all that are hillarious because it seems some things just dont change

    So you played for Hugo's gang?

    Yep, but for me was a bit easier, I was getting in the team every game, for Vinohrady are famous to struggle to put 11 names togheter (nearly) every week, which, from a personal point of view, wasn't that bad, add to that that they usually collapsed so I was in around over 25 with the game already lost, I had the opportunity to stay for some time in the middle (that said, I was pleasantly surprised that they won the T20 and were in the 40ov final this year; that was quite some progress!). The great thing about playing in the Czech Republic is the atmosphere; unmatched by anything I've ever been part before or since. And don't worry too much about your age: last year we had a guy (Vlad'a) who picked up the game at the age of 50-something just to walk in at n.11 and to be involved in a 10 runs partnership to win a game (I'm not sure about this, but I seem to remember that the other batsman could have been his wife. Or maybe some indian guy. Whatever). My biggest complain was that there was too much english and too little czech for a Czech league, so I was thinking at the time about organizing some "only czech-speaking" club... ale co se dá dělat, asi dost českých hráčů na to ještě nebylo (hope my czech isn't too messed up after a couple years).

    Anyway, it's a pleasure to see that more people are getting into cricket up in Prague; do absolutely write as soon as the winter league will be going, if they didn't change the rules you'll be seeing quite a lot of action by that time.


    Гурин has already made some superbly well-informed comments on your specific situation.
    If he wasn't from PCC I'd have wrote him even the weak points of all the players in the league if he asked, but the side of the Devil he chooseth, so...

    Where are you based, Outswinger?

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    International 12th Man Outswinger@Pace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Гурин View Post
    If he wasn't from PCC I'd have wrote him even the weak points of all the players in the league if he asked, but the side of the Devil he chooseth, so...


    Where are you based, Outswinger?
    The Hague area of Netherlands. We have some good cricket facilities here. Could jolly well move to western Germany during the winter for an exchange program.

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    jan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Гурин View Post
    ...
    Yeah, Vinohrady grabbed the inaugural t20 title without hesitation. Their great team spirit and great fielding performance were 2 main factors of our defeat imho. The 40-overs final was the very opposite with us reatining the title.
    Vlada still plays but his wife doesnt I think. As for speaking Czech one has to accept English as lingua franca in cricket because otherwise it would be babylon of languages in our club
    Winter league should start in january and though some people look down on this forn of cricket Im gonna try it for sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Outswinger@Pace View Post
    The Hague area of Netherlands. We have some good cricket facilities here. Could jolly well move to western Germany during the winter for an exchange program.
    I have two friends in the Netherlands, one in Groningen and one in Utrecht and they claim they never heard about cricket. Condemned to football and baseball only, poor fellows

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    International 12th Man Outswinger@Pace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan View Post
    I have two friends in the Netherlands, one in Groningen and one in Utrecht and they claim they never heard about cricket. Condemned to football and baseball only, poor fellows
    The guy from Groningen may be forgiven, IMHO. They live far up north and are still in the 18th century so may not know much about cricket.

    No excuse for the bloke from Utrecht, which has three of four very good clubs and excellent cricketing infrastructure overall.

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    State Captain slowfinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan View Post
    Im no sportsman and picked cricket this season. Even if its a sport which "doesnt require being fit" and we dont get much cricket here (nets once a week + played a few matches on weekends) my body aches from it a lot. So I want to do something about me being horrible unfit for the new season which starts in april. Apart from general fitness which is much about running and lifting stuff Id like to ask about this:

    1. Foremost question. At the level at which we play cricket here (the lowest thinkable I assume) is it more important to be fit or to be skilled? That is being overall fit makes up for lack of skill or skill makes up for lack of fitness?

    2. I bowl right-arm and bat left-hand. I feel that only the right side of my body gets the load which is not good because my back is ****ed enough as it is. Lets say I excercise 40% right side and 60% left side to compensate? Good thinking or not?

    3. Is there anything I should avoid or pay extra attention to while working on my fitness/skill? Developing a bad habit is the last thing I want.

    4. Is there some sort of "cricket fitness bible" ? I googled a lot and got the obvious result - loads of information with no or little feedback so not quite sure what to pick. No coaches here.


    Thanks
    jan
    If you don't want to do an Imran Khan (run, when you have run 2 miles, hit the gym [no fat foods allowed]) then I just suggest thoroughly stretching/bike riding? These two exercises are easy on the body...
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  13. #13
    jan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    My advice is to do the following three things:

    1) Stretch

    2) Stretch more

    3) When you've finished stretching ask yourself, 'Have I stretched for at least 30 minutes?". If the answer is no then go back to step 1.

    ...
    Well, I must say it is surprisingly simple and effective. I have yet to add some running but the stretching routine itself proved really useful. I feel much less pain and strain in the nets and Id like to think it lead to small improvement of my skills. Btw its 5pm so its time to stretch

    Thanks a lot SoC .)



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