How to prepare for winter nets

Simon Wells
Authored by Simon Wells
Posted Friday, January 21, 2022 - 8:19pm

With the festive period out of the way and only months until the start of the new season in April, club cricketers in the UK will be starting to focus on pre-season training. Winter nets are a fundamental element in the cricketing calendar, helping players to get back into the swing of things before competitive fixtures start in the Spring. However, jumping into pre-season training after an overindulgent winter can increase the chances of injury, so it’s important to ease yourself back in. Below we’ll look at how you can prepare for winter nets to ensure that you can train consistently and without injuring yourself.

Prepare your kit bag

Winter nets are a great opportunity to test out your new gear for the season ahead. Wearing in new trainers is a good idea to support your feet throughout the training sessions and to avoid blisters. You may want to upgrade your batting gloves, pads or helmet if you’ve been using the same ones for a few years – safety should be a top priority for any cricketer. If you’re investing in a new bat, ensure that you fully knock it in before using it in the nets, otherwise you could risk damaging it.

Slowly increase your activity levels

Every cricketer knows the feeling, after the first pre-season training session your body feels like it’s been hit by a train. This is somewhat inevitable, particularly for more senior players, but easing yourself slowly into training will help to limit your soreness and protect your body for future performance. If you rush into winter nets and train flat out in the first session, you will massively increase the chances of injuring yourself.

Strech regularly

Alongside easing your way into pre-season training, stretching regularly before, after and outside of winter nets will boost your recovery times and lower your chances of injury. Stretching should also help to raise performance, certainly for bowlers who may suffer from muscle tightness or poor flexibility during training and matches. Consistent stretching should be a fundamental part of your daily routine if you’re serious about being an athlete.

Stay hydrated

If you’re coming off an indulgent Christmas, especially where lots of processed food and alcohol were involved, you should really think about keeping yourself hydrated consistently. This has a number of important health benefits but is also essential when exercising regularly. Water helps to support your muscles and cardiovascular system, allowing you to train to a higher performance level and reduce the risks of cramp.

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