Cricket requires players to have great speed and to be able to perform an explosive start, whether for batting and making runs, a run-up for bowling, chasing balls or backing up players when fielding. This means that players need to get moving quickly and strongly, and must maintain that speed over certain distances on the ground.
The following drills are designed to help develop quick footwork, speed and power. Please follow these guidelines before beginning a session;
• Try to keep a work-to-rest ratio of 5:1. For example, a 6 second sprint should be followed by approximately 30 seconds walking recovery.
• Speed training drills should be performed when you are fresh. Don’t attempt these drills after a long endurance run or a heavy strength-training workout.
• Make sure you are fully warmed up before starting a speed training session. A warm-up should consist of 10 minutes light cardio followed by some stretches.
• Bounding – Set up a 50m distance. Start jogging on the spot with high knees, then bound to the end and jog back and repeat.
• Alternating striding – Set up cones over 100m distance. Place the cones 1m apart for the first 50m, and 2m apart for the second 50m. Striding out, make sure your feet match up with the cones. You should have shorter strides for the first 50m and longer strides for the second 50m. Jog back to the start and repeat.
• Accelerating sprints – Set up cones covering a distance of 100m. Start with a jog at one end, then gradually accelerate to reach full speed at the halfway point and continue to sprint to the end. Slow down gradually to a jog, turn and walk/jog back to the start. Repeat.
• Alternating starts – Set up cones covering a 20m distance. The aim of this exercise is to get out as fast as possible and build up as much speed as you can within 20m. To add variety, mix up the start as much as possible. For example, begin jogging on the spot, lying down on your back or stomach, perform push-ups or squats before taking off.
• Weave in and out – Set out cones diagonally from each other over a 50m distance. Sprint to one cone, then push up and sprint diagonally to the other cone. Repeat for the entire length of cones, creating as much speed as possible.
Personal trainer, Tavia Ambler