cricket nets - image by pixabay, free to use licence

After a long summer season, cricket players all around the country enjoy a few months of mental and physical recovery.

But soon enough, the festive period passes, and new hopes and aspirations start to gather for the new season.

With winter having well and truly arrived – the club cricketer’s attention starts to turn towards winter nets.

This practice is an essential element of pre-season preparation for professional and club cricketers alike, helping to blow away the cobwebs and shift some of the consequences of an indulgent festive period.

Before you start attending winter nets with your club, consider some of these ways to make the most of the training sessions.

Practise with your new gear
Winter nets is the perfect time to get used to your new cricket equipment, so make use of these sessions to get to grips with your new bat, wear in your new trainers or show off your shiny new pads.

You could even show up in your brand-new whites, but be prepared for some banter thrown your way.

Come April, you’ll want to have hours of practice with your new gear so you can hit the ground running in the new season.

Be consistent
As with anything, consistency is key. Training for any sport requires consistency to achieve results – so winter nets should be no different.

Try to attend as many sessions as you can, and do some extra gym work or jogging on the side if you’re one of the keener club cricketers.

Look to develop your skills over the course of winter nets so you can really see the benefit once the season has started.

Challenge yourself and your teammates
The good thing about team sports is that you can challenge yourself and those around you to get better.

Introduce some competition with your teammates – for example, see who can get the most wickets or set an imaginary field and set a target for batsmen to reach.

Simulating matchday scenarios will help to warm up your tactical and strategic brain ready for the real thing later in the year.

Have a plan
You can maximise your training and results by outlining what you want to work on before each session or before winter nets even start.

If you’re an opening batsmen, you may want to reinforce your defensive game in early sessions before stepping things up and working on your attacking shots once you have got back into some sort of rhythm.

For bowlers, you could plan to hit a line and length as much as possible in the first few weeks, before practicing your variations or trying something new after a few sessions.

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