Batters need to be able to rotate strike which can involve running quick singles. Running fast with pads is vital for this. Comfortable, correctly sized pads is the first step and then regular practice drills to focus specifically on running. Running in pads must be as close to your natural running style as possible.
Steps to Run with Cricket Pads
- When running with cricket pads, keep the head down, stay low like a sprinter.
- Cricket requires sprinting rather than long distance running.
- The bat should be held across the body, while pumping the arms.
- Run with short, quick steps to achieve the highest speed.
- Running drills improve your running with cricket pads.
There are numerous drills and practices you can include in your training sessions. Running drills, skipping with a rope and step ups are all examples that can improve your running speed in pads. Regular times to do these drills are vitally important.
Before starting any practice drill or any game, there are 2 things which should be considered and acted upon in terms of cricket pads.
Adjust the Pad Straps Properly
This should be done every time your pads are worn. Straps which are not correctly adjusted will make it difficult to run in them. Straps which are too tight will make the pads uncomfortable and make it difficult to bend your knee when running. Too slack and the pads will move around your shin, which can make you trip over them. Remember to check them during an innings or during a practice session as they can become loose when worn for a longer period of time. Also, check that the Velcro on the straps hasn’t become worn. Not checking this can lead to pads which cannot be fastened at all.
Shape the Cricket Pad to Your Leg
By shaping the pad to your leg, you increase the comfort of wearing a pad, and also increase your running speed. This is made easier by choosing pads which are your size and not too large or small. It will become easier to shape the pads to the move you wear them. They will become less rigid and lose their newness over time. Bending the pads slightly when they are new will speed up this process.
Once your cricket pads are fitted correctly, you can begin training how to run fast with cricket pads. Mix up the drill exercises week by week to stop them from becoming boring. Maintaining interest and enthusiasm with this will help you to run fast in pads.
Do Running Drills
It sounds obvious but run in your pads. Make the running game specific so as to replicate how and where pads will be worn. Practise running between the wickets as you would in a game. This could be a quick single or a two. Learning to turn quickly in pads is also a key skill. By doing this in running drills, you become used to the feel of the movement. Running for long distances in pads has no benefit at all, short sprints are more realistic to the game and are what you will actually do as a batter.
Practice Running Everyday
Once at week at the end of training is not the proposed model here. Running in pads effectively has to be worked on as much as possible. This not only improves your stamina but also helps you to become more used to running with pads on. Similar drills and exercises as mentioned earlier but on a regular basis. Set a time to do this rather than trying to find time later in the day. Make it part of your routine and the results will speak for themselves.
Train with Jump Rope
A brilliant workout for not only stamina but for footwork as well. Using a jump rope is a key part of a boxer’s work out so there is no reason that a cricketer cannot do the same. Being light on your feet is a quality of a good batter. Moving down the pitch to play slow or spin bowling is a skill in itself and is one that doesn’t need to be hindered by pads getting in the way.
For batters playing longer innings’, having good stamina is a must. A tired body creates a tired mind and this leads to mistakes being made and bad decisions occurring. Jump rope exercise is great for improving this. It can also be used to replicate the type of running that cricket batters will do. A 10 second, high intensity blast of skipping is a great way to replicate a quick single. A good point to consider with skipping is that it can be done in a relatively small space.
Do Resistance Training
Quite a common exercise for sprinters and other sportspeople. Being restricted in some way by someone holding you back with a bungee cord or by having a parachute attached to your waist are all examples of resistance training. These will help your running speed by improving your leg strength. Stronger leg muscles increase the ability to run quickly. These should mirror batter related running as much as possible. Having a parachute for a quick single will be of far more use than running 50 metres with a parachute attached. For resistance training to be effective, it is advised that the elastic or parachute are released so that the runner feels the difference.
Step-Up, Step-Down Drills
Completing drills of this nature on a regular basis will massively increase your running speeds. These exercises specifically target the thigh muscles which are very powerful. The step up doesn’t need to use any specific gym equipment. Your stairs can be used to do this very easily. A low wall can be used (safely). To increase the benefit of this drill, the pace of running can be pushed as can the time available to step up and down. As with all drills, commit time to them and you will reap the rewards. Completing these styles of drills for short, sharp periods helps to mirror what is expected in a game situation. After a hit of steps up, take the time to rest. This is what you do in a game.
Successful batting is not just about hitting boundaries. It is also about rotating the strike and putting the opposition under pressure. This can be done by running quickly between the wickets.
Many people who are new to the sport in terms of playing, tend to struggle with wearing pads. Regular practise is the best way to increase running speed whilst wearing pads. Working with someone you will probably spend time with whilst batting would be a great way to keep things interesting and most like a game situation. Adding a couple of fielders and a wicket keeper would keep you sharp for quick singles and increase your communication with your partner. This is especially important for opening batters.