“I will always remember the game for other reasons, because I learnt a very important personal lesson. It taught me never to resort to unethical ways and to play the sport with honesty and integrity at all times.” – Sachin Tendulkar.
The competitiveness in today’s era in all forms of cricket i.e. T20s, ODIs and Tests, fitness plays a vital part in developing a sportsperson’s career along with skills and technique. A brilliant catch, runout, cheeky single, one powerful hit, speedy Yorker or bouncer can change the game.
In the current era of cricket, along with skill and technique a cricketer requires all fitness components such as speed, agility, flexibility, power, resistance training, core stability, ability to make repeated sprints and a high aerobic capacity.
Training programs must be specific to the fitness components of used muscles and energy systems. Fitness programs should be personalized after deciding the goals and priority of player (Example – A batsman aiming to play T20 tournament has to train accordingly). It must be designed after a proper fitness test of each individual is assessed. These days, unique fitness programs are designed for batsmen, bowlers and wicket keepers. The trainer must train his/her player with what is known as “progressive overload theory”. For instance, in Aerobic activities, it is aimed to increase time or distance or sprinting and in resistance training it aims to increase repetitions or increase in weights.
The old faithful of warm ups and cool downs are a vital part of any fitness session. Rest and nutrition are as important as technique and fitness. If a cricketer stops maintaining fitness, the body’s capacity falls below normal fitness levels.
Correct fitness program designed and followed by cricketers help individuals maintain skill level, lead to less chances of injury, less fatigue during games and helps recover quickly after games, which builds self confidence in the player. Therefore the physical well being leads to mental fitness as well.
In short, fitness gives extra mental strength to cricketers to perform better than opponents OR when two players exhibit the approximately the same skill levels, then fitness gives an edge for selection and is usually the tie-breaker.
BY ROHAN BANE
TEAM BAYSIDE SPORTS.