Successful Pre-Season Training

Pre-season cricket training

Indoor facilities provide ideal environment for pre-season training

How will you know you had a successful pre-season cricket training?
The most important advice I can give to any cricketer is to set some goals for yourself at the start of your pre-season cricket training.
It does not matter if you are a school, club, provincial or international cricketer – it applies to all levels. The players who come out on top generally have a planned pre-season, with a set of goals they simply follow through on over the course of the season.
The best way to set these goals is to keep it simple – do not try and overcomplicate the goals and. Most, importantly, set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) goals.
Make the goal specific
When a goal is specific, it becomes easy to measure whether it has been achieved.
• Example: As a bowler, you would like to take 10 wickets for the season or have a specific strike rate. As a batsman, you want to score 200-plus runs during the season.
Make the goal attainable
There is a big difference between setting low and attainable goals. Be careful not to set a low goal that is easily reached. Rather set a goal that is not too far from reach – and is based on your previous season’s statistics.
The goal also needs to be based on what you feel you can deliver. Set a goal that will keep you motivated until the end of the season.
Make the goal realistic
Many people struggle with this, as they simply make a wish list.
Yes, you wish you could take five wickets and score a century every game. But, mate, be realistic – it’s almost never going to happen.
Look at your role in the team and speak to your captain and coach to discuss this during pre-season practice. Then consult your previous season’s statistics – this will give you a fair idea of what is realistic.
If you are an all-rounder, set realistic goals for bowling and batting. If your primary role is as a batsman, simply set realistic batting goals as your core focus.
Make the goal time-bound
During the winter in Cape Town, you won’t be able to get much done outdoors. Practicing in the indoor nets, then, is the best option. These training facilities work on a booking system – design a time and date schedule and make bookings in advance to ensure you can stick to your programme. Set markers within the season to reach parts of the goal.
• Example: You want 120 runs after your first five innings.
This way, you can measure and track your goals on an ongoing basis.
It’s September now – and cricketers are dusting off their kit and starting to plan their new season. Before you rush off to the nets, take some time to set your goals. Put your plan down in writing and always remember failing to plan is planning to fail.

Also read: When you’re in a spin and can’t win