If your cricket team is anything like mine, success means a great deal. They may be amateurs but they still want to do well personally and in the league.
But playing well means training well: especially for those of us who are not lucky to have the skill of Ponting.
Time restrictions might stop you practising as much as a pro, but you can still train the way the top guys do.
Here is how:
Make a commitment
I see training as part of a wider picture: If you are fit for cricket you are also healthier, look better and are fit for life.
This means that your plans to be healthier, lose weight, get fit and look better can all be dealt with by training to play better cricket.
So how much time should you commit?
In short, as much as you can.
Some guys train 6 times a week for between 30 minutes and 2 hours (depending on the time of year). Some of it is skills training, some of it is fitness but it all counts: The more you do the better.
You may be able to do more or less.
Whatever you feel your level of commitment can be, stick to it in the knowledge that you are not only becoming a better player, you are improving your quality of life.
Remember to be realistic though. It's better to underestimate how much time you have than to set your sights sky high only to give up when you can't manage it.
Think like a pro
Once you have committed your time to training you can start to think exactly like a pro. After all, being a recreational player doesn't stop you thinking professionally.
Once you are at a training session tell yourself you will be professional.
For example, your weekly net sessions don't have to be a free for all. They can be run in the same way as a pro team run them.
Plan your training
All elite cricket players have a plan for the year, make sure you do too: Have a goal that you are working towards within the limits you have set.
Within that overall goal, know what you are looking to get from each session.
It also makes a huge difference to know how a good training session is structured so you have a template from which to work.
This stops you from wasting the precious training time you have.
Keep updating your knowledge
You could get your club to hire a conditioning coach and sport psychologist but that would be expensive.
On the other hand, getting the PitchVision Academy newsletter is free and easy and just as good.
That way you will always be up to date with the latest methods used by professional teams.
by David Hinchliffe, PitchVision Academy
© 2011 miSport Ltd