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What should I be doing in the off-season?

What should I be doing in the off-season?

The unique (and annoying) thing about cricket is the length of the off-season (mid-September to April).

It has its downsides, but it’s actually one of the most productive times to work on your own game. Having regular expert coaching sessions during the season is never a bad thing. But it does little to clear your mind between games and you can find that you are often playing in games and thinking about something technical, that you may have been working on that week. That can curb your natural instincts.

By loading the developmental part of your game into the winter months, you can focus on outcomes in the summer and play with a clear mind.

Here are a few tips from our Head Coach (Eddie), on how to make the most of the winter break:

  1. End of season: Take 2 weeks to REST. Switch off from cricket completely. If you have played regularly during the season, it helps to clear the mind and re-evaluate.
  2. October: Performance analysis. Spend time looking back at your previous season’s performance. As a batter, how did you get out most of the time? Is there a recurring theme? As a bowler, was your economy and wickets column as good as you’d like it to be? Which batters or pitches do you struggle against the most? Is there a common theme with your bowling? Just by analysing your game in this way, you can reveal some surprising aspects of your game and help shape your training for the next season. If you can, get some video analysis of your technique to start the off-season and work with a coach to review it. Put a plan in place to get ready for winter nets and then, the league season.
  3. November – December: Fault rectification. These months are ideal for ironing out those minor and major flaws in your game. It’s also great to do this while you don’t have the pressure of an upcoming match in a few days. It can really help build your confidence in the skills you need, so they will come more naturally by the time the season comes back around. Take some time to work on the technical part of your game. Are there tweaks you can make, to ensure you score more runs or take more wickets?
  4. January – March: Preparation phase. This is the perfect time to get time in the nets with your team mates. Start training with the mindset that it’s match practice. If you can, maintain sessions with a personal coach, as it can take some adjusting progressing from throw downs to facing bowlers. There may be additional flaws in your game that are exposed when you go back into the team environment. Also, around January/February, clubs tend to get their fixtures scheduled. Start getting a picture of how your season will look, as early as you can. Do you know any of the opposition teams? Have you performed well against them in the past? What is the pitch they play on going to be like? If you can start to think about the teams and the wickets you are coming up against, then it helps to get you in the right frame of mind. At club level, we tend to play similar sides in most seasons, so we should have some idea of what to expect.
  5. April: Match practice. This is the first chance to put 6-8 months of practice together and apply it to an actual match. Making yourself available for your club’s friendly games are an important part of preapring for the season.
  6. Mid April – September: Performance phase. This is the period of the year, when games come thick and fast, often in different formats (i.e. 50 overs on Saturday and 20 overs mid-week etc.). If you have prepared well over the winter, then it will give you a good chance to play consistently over the season. As often as you can, we would recommend that you review how your season is progressing and revisit any areas of concern as they crop up.

Our Head Coach is ECB Level 2 certified and is in a select group (nationally) working towards the ECB Level 3. He is available to coach anyone who wants to work on their game this winter.

You can book sessions with our Head Coach and enquire here.


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