Matthew Fisher believes cricketers up and down the land are getting a glimpse of what it would be like to play an individual sport as they bid to maintain fitness in anticipation for a return to action this summer.
The Yorkshire seamer is combating the challenges thrown up by minimal equipment at home and a lack of contact with strength and conditioning coaches due to the Coronavirus-led furloughing process.
But he is enjoying having to be creative and thinking on his feet, admitting that lessons he is currently learning could benefit him for the rest of his life.
Fisher said: “In terms of cricket, for us all to be working from home, it lends itself to players thinking for themselves a bit more.
“You almost have to get on with things like you’re playing an individual sport.
“Tennis players and golfers will do a lot of things on their own and will probably think for themselves a bit more than we would as team sportsmen because we would usually go into the gym and have a set session with strength and conditioning coaches and physios there to ask questions of. We can’t do that now.
“Hopefully it will lead to us all making better decisions off the pitch and even on it when we get back into the cricket.”
The 22-year-old continued: “The biggest challenge is not having the equipment you could have at a gym or at Headingley.
Strength and conditioning with
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“It means you’re having to be pretty innovative with the things you do have.
“I’ve just got one 25kg dumbbell and a resistance band.
“I’m trying to do as much similar stuff to what’s in the physical programme I was given before being furloughed.
“If you don’t have the same weight as you would normally use, it’s maybe about doing more reps or doing your reps slower on the way down and quicker on the way up.
“From a conditioning and cardio point of view, I get quite bored with just running. I’ve done the odd 5km, but I’ve also been doing some interval stuff – 1km or 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off.
“I’ve also been doing some Joe Wicks’ workouts – not the PE sessions he’s putting on for the kids at 9 o’clock in the morning, but some of his high intensity things he puts on YouTube.
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“We don’t usually do much circuit training, so I’ve actually really enjoyed exploring different training techniques.
“It’s not just in cricket and training, but in all sorts of areas of life. I think this whole situation will make people re-evaluate what’s important and may lead to them living a more healthy lifestyle.”
Last month, Fisher was one of four seamers who travelled to Mumbai a week earlier than the rest of the White Rose squad for a specialist bowling camp led by bowling coach Rich Pyrah.
That topped off an extremely productive winter for the England Lions quick, who is confident he won’t have lost too much fitness since the UK wide lockdown started on March 23.
“Strength training stays in your body for quite a long time, whereas the aerobic stuff drops off quicker,” he added. “But that’s something we can do in the hour or so we’re allowed out of the house.
“For me, it’s the bowling workload and time on your feet which could be affected.
“But, potentially, we might not need that if we don’t play any Championship cricket this summer. You can pick up 50-over and T20 cricket easier.
“As a physical impact on myself individually, I don’t think I’ll be too far behind.
“If we keep up the programmes we were set right at the start of this, we’ll be in a good place as a squad.
“I read Steve Patterson’s message to the members last week, where he said the teams who maintain fitness and adapt quickest when this all ends will be the ones who succeed the most. I think he’s right with that, and I’m sure all the lads will still be working hard.”