For my personal exercise programme, I have decided that I am going to attempt to improve my performance in cricket. When I play cricket, I have noticed that although my bowling tends to be good, my batting and fielding are not quite at the level that I would like them to be. It is for this reason that I am going to attempt to improve my agility and my hand-eye co ordination.
Improving my agility is going to be my primary objective. I have noticed that when fielding, particularly in the slip position, I struggle to get to the ball fast enough to catch it, when it is coming towards me. This mainly happens when the ball is coming towards me at a particularly low height. If I manage to improve my agility as I hope to do, I believe that catching a more difficult ball will become easier and improve my game. I also believe, that since the test I am using to improve my agility involves running a course in the shortest amount of time possible, that my fitness level may also be improved from taking the test. I believe that this may improve some aspects of my game that I am not specifically concentrating on (such as fatigue after bowling for several overs).
My secondary objective is going to be improving my hand-eye co ordination. I have noticed, that when I am batting, I have a tendency to misjudge the angle at which the ball is approaching me, and when I play the shot I end up edging the ball to the fielder placed at slip. I feel that if I could improve my hand-eye co ordination then my game would vastly improve, as I would be able to judge the ball better so that I can play a much safer shot.
In order to improve my agility, I have decided to use the Illinois Agility run. For the Illinois agility run, you must first mark out an area of 10 metres in length and place 4 obstacles 3.3 metres apart. This is illustrated in the diagram on the following page.
Once the test has been set up, you must lie prone with your head to the start line and your hand beside your shoulders. On command, run the course as fast as possible and get someone to time your run. Record your time and fitness rating. On the following page you will find a table of how to record your fitness rating.
I aim to run the course in a time which is in within the range of average. However, by the end of my personal fitness programme, I aim to have improved that to a time which ranges between good and excellent. If I manage to achieve this, I will know that my agility has improved.
I believe that the Illinois agility run is a very effective way of improving my agility as it involves moving around obstacles that are very close together, at a very fast speed. This means that you must be agile enough to turn quickly in between each obstacle to avoid either missing, or hitting the object. So, after several attempts at completing the test, my agility should improve as I become more used to navigating the course and therefore I should be able to transfer that to the cricket field.
In order to improve my hand eye coordination, I have decided to use the hand eye coordination test. This is a very simple test, which involves throwing a tennis ball against a wall for 1 minute. You must alternate between the right and left hands when throwing and catching the ball (Throw with right, catch with left, throw with left, catch with right etc). If I drop the ball, I must start again at zero catches, however, the timer does not stop. After 1 minute, I will record the amount of continuous time I have caught the ball. I will have someone on hand to time the test for me. By the end of my personal exercise programme, I aim to have taken the test a minimum of 5 times so I can effectively evaluate wether or not my hand eye coordination has improved.
In my opinion, this test is a very good way of testing hand eye co ordination. This is because in order to keep catching the ball over and over again my eyes must continuously be focused on the ball, and not my surroundings. If I let my concentration slip, I will drop the ball. This is just like what happens when you let your concentration slip when facing a ball on the cricket pitch, you will either miss the ball entirely or play a very poor shot, should you ever let your concentration slip and let the environment take an effect on your game.
I believe that if I can improve both my agility and coordination by using the above tests, then my cricket will be drastically improved for the reasons I have previously mentioned. I believe that both of the test I have chosen are a very good way of testing, and improving both my agility and coordination, and, in turn, should improve my performance on the cricket field.