Rahul Dravid, the head of cricket at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, has shed light on the measures taken by the academy and its staff to support India’s cricketers and network of coaches across states during the ongoing lockdown.
Dravid said that the lockdown and restricted access to training facilities has forced coaches to become creative in coming up with solutions and delivering programs to cricketers, based on their unique needs and resource availability.
“There are various measures in place to support cricketers,” Dravid told The Times Of India. “For starters, our strength and conditioning experts and the physios are in constant touch with them, monitoring their programs and loads. Since some of them are recuperating from injuries, they require a different level of attention.
“Even with the training programs, for example, it isn’t quite possible for all the guys to go for a run. Some have access to gyms, but most don’t, so the S&Cs have had to become creative and provide the athletes the best possible solutions in such times, keeping in mind that they need to at least maintain current strength and conditioning levels, if not become better.”
Dravid went on to explain the metric system that is normally used to track athletes’ progress and how that has had to be tweaked now. “The training is highly different for different individuals during this time and is largely based on what is available and how we can use it best,” he said. “So we have flexible in our approach. Metrics that we use in normal situations include weight lifted, distance run, and exertion levels. These get uploaded on our Athlete Management System (AMS), where we can track the athletes.
“However, during these unique times, our S&Cs have had to be more flexible and the metrics range from “number of sessions” done for someone with basic home facilities to our usual metrics for someone who has access to in-house gyms.
“All the contracted players are being offered support online and checked regularly to ensure that they are safe and taking good care of themselves. This includes their injury management and injury prevention programmes, as well as training programmes from our physiotherapy and S&C department. There is a regular communication between NCA staff and these players.”