The family picnic: a time to park yourself – and your beer – on a camping chair while the rest of the clan plays cricket. But you’d be missing a (hat)trick if you didn’t play a game or two yourself. You don’t need to go pro to score a bunch of health and fitness benefits – all while the braai is going. The Proteas women’s team gives us a glimpse into the conditioning that builds a successful cricketer.
You’ll Tone Your Upper Body
The act of bowling – hurling the ball at the batswoman, while trying to hit the wickets she’s protecting – is a technical move that uses your whole body. The power starts with the momentum of your run-up, but you need to follow through with your whole core. Spend an hour or two running in to bowl and you’ll feel it in your shoulders, arms and back the next day. Proteas medium-fast bowler Tumi Sekhukhune says she spends time working on her upper-body strength to give her quicker deliveries that extra bit of oomph.
You’ll Raise Your Heart Rate
From sprinting for the ball in the field to dashing between the wickets, everyone on the team will spend time running around the oval. To prep for this, the Proteas spend a lot of time doing just that: running. In fact, everyone we spoke to told us they start the day with a five-kay.
You’ll Make Friends
Kinda loving it now that you’ve tried it? Join a cricket club and the social aspect of the game won’t only flex your teamwork muscle, you’ll find a posse in fitness too. Just take the Proteas and their support for each other. “With the team, we knew that we wanted to lift each other up and if we all worked on our own spaces, we could come together like a house on fire,” says all-rounder Chloe Tryon.
You’ll Be Sharper
Okay, so your hand-eye coordination sucks and you couldn’t catch a ball even if it were five centimetres from your face. Hear this: you should start working on that now. Hand-eye coordination declines as we age, but exercise and routinely practising coordination (like with batting and fielding drills) helps sharpen it.
The Proteas take on Pakistan in May. Don’t miss the action!
Get In On The Action
Need inspiration? Watch the Proteas women in action as they take on Pakistan in May. The Proteas women are gearing up for a three-match one day international series and a five-match T20 international series here in SA from 6-23 May 2019. The matches will take place across four cities – Potchefstroom, Benoni, Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria. And the most exciting part? Our national heroines will be working towards direct qualification for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. Plus it’ll be part of their prep for the 2020 ICC Women’s World T20.
Follow Cricket South Africa @OfficialCSA on Twitter for updates on matches, which are usually televised on SuperSport. And make sure you check out Cricket South Africa’s official website, for a full schedule of matches.
Totally Inspired And Ready To Play?
Grab a bat and hit the beach, campsite or lawn – every member of the squad has her place.
If you’re short: Try batting and being in the inner ring of the field as a fielder, where you can take short catches and stop the ball before any runs are scored.
If you’re tall: You’d be a great bowler and do well fielding in the outfield, where you’ll be positioned to take high catches on the boundary.
If you’re fast: You’d be good batting in the middle order, where your ability to sprint between the wickets could steal the winning runs. Fielding at midwicket, you’d be well placed for quick ball retrieval and run-outs.
If you’re agile: Wicketkeeper will have you diving and lunging for the ball regularly. You’ll also do hundreds of squats in a match – hello, glutes of steel!