Rahul Dravid, head of cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), is making sure that the younger crop of players are focused on their training and do not compromise on fitness as they remain confined to their homes amid the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking about how the NCA has devised programmes for India’s under-19 and ‘A’ teams Dravid, in an interview with TOI, said: “Our strength and conditioning experts (S&Cs) and physios are in constant touch with them, monitoring players’ programmes and loads. Since some cricketers are recuperating from injuries, they require a different level of attention. Even with the training programmes, 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 coaches have had to become creative and provide the athletes the best possible solution, keeping in mind that the players need to at least maintain current strength and conditioning levels, if not become better.”
On how the fitness is being monitored, Dravid explained: “Metrics that we use in a normal situation include weights lifted, distance run, and exertion levels. These get uploaded on our Athlete Management System (AMS), which we use to track all the athletes.”
The 47-year-old also spoke about plans for the next season and observed that it will be best to wait and watch.
“All our camps for the summer, which is a busy time for NCA, have had to be put on hold. The monsoon seasonn will add to the challenges.”
“We do have a few contingency plans in place. Safety is the priority for everyone right now. Once things become clearer, we will be able to react. I guess that’s true of all sport in the world.”