How many days should I be training in the offseason?

The offseason is typically the season that most athletes, particularly junior athletes let things slide. It’s often the case that athletes take the opportunity to rest too much rather than continue to work on their fitness or technical ability during the offseason. As part of the offseason, particularly for high technical based sports such as cricket, it is very important to consider each individual’s needs, particularly at a junior level.

To answer the question of how many days per week should I be training in the offseason is always difficult, due to the needs of each individual. In terms of the strength and conditioning point of view, or in other words the sessions that focus on the physical fitness of an athlete, normally 3-5 days per week training is adequate for a junior cricket player.

Within these 3-5 days there needs to be at least 2 strength sessions, where the player focuses on improving their strength, power, core strength or general ability to move. Then there needs to be 1-2 aerobic or anaerobic conditioning sessions which focuses on the cardiovascular fitness of the athlete. Finally there needs to be 1-2 speed sessions which focus on improving the player’s ability to move between two close points with speed and agility.

The offseason provides a fantastic opportunity for the cricket player to improve their physical ability so they reach the season in good physical conditioning to withstand the rigours of high volume cricket competition. As the season approaches, i.e. during the preseason or competition phases, it’s a lot more difficult to focus on the development of physical fitness.

While the development of physical fitness during this period is important, so to is recovery. So while we recommend that there are 3-5 physical fitness sessions in a week during the offseason it is equally important to have 1-2 days that are purely about rest and recovery. Cricketers’ have a very intense competition period with long bouts playing the game, so remembering to have this time off to prevent injuries is important.

The technical nature of cricket lends itself to continued development of the required skills to become a better cricket player, i.e. batting, bowling and fielding. Ultimately the more the junior can spend refining and training these skills the better they can become. Much of this training time needs to be self directed and is what often sets the best players apart from the rest. Obviously we don’t recommend fast bowlers bowl too much because of the impacts on their musculoskeletal system. However for all other players, and generic skills such as fielding, the more effort and focus the junior can have themselves the better. Stick to the 1-2 days of complete rest, but the more time spent being self directed in developing their technical abilities the better.

Never Underestimate The Power Of Your Action

This is a story from America that has been around the Internet for quite some time – and we thought it was a story worth sharing.

Stick with it until the end and we promise it’ll make you smile… and maybe even cry!

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. It looked like he was carrying all of his books.

I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.”

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friend the next afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about 10 feet from him.

He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I had never hung out with a private school kid before.

His name was Kyle. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Damn boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going to study business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class.

I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

On graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous.

Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.

“Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach … but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.

He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.” I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.

I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life.