This morning I had our good friend Gajanand Reddy, or Gaz, as we affectionately call him, come over and put us through some physical training drills for cricketers that we could use in the movie. Gaz came directly from Gymkhana where he was training youngsters - he is now the physical trainer for the Hyderabad Ranji team - and well in time. Gaz, superbly fit, was kind enough to make time for me despite having to leave this very evening to Australia to attend a course.
After a light breakfast at the location, he picked a bunch of kids and started his routines. First he made the kids warm up with a 60 yard jog in a straight line, to and fro, a couple of times. After that, the boys were made to walk and get their breath back. This was followed by a session of stretches - locking fingers and stretching upwards, arms, chest, sides stretching, hip rotation, toe touching - until the body is suitably warmed up and stretched.
Then he made the boys do a series of 70 yard sprints. The first two at 60%, the next at 80% and the last one at 100%. Then Gaz bought out his bag of cones to show a few drills after that to improve agility and speed.
The first drill was to divide the boys into two teams. He made them stand one behind another. Then he placed 3 cones at distances of 5 yards, 10 yards and 15 yards from the boys. The first boy had to run, touch the first cone, return, touch the base cone, run and touch the second cone, return and touch the base cone, run and touch the third cone and stop. This, the shuttle run, had to be done at maximum speed and in a relay motion to ensure that your team wins.
The second drill was a T drill where a cone was placed at 5 yards in a straight line and two other cones were placed 5 yards on either side of it. Another cone was placed 15 yards ahead. The boy has to sprint and touch the center cone, turn left and move sideways to the left most cone, move back to center in the sideways shuffle, run back to start point in a back run, sprint ahead again, turn right in a sideways shuffle to the rightmost cone and return to center cone and then sprint like crazy to the cone in the front.
The third drill was a diamond drill where a diamond was formed with 5 yards a side and another cone placed about 20 yards from the tip of the diamond. Players had to start shuffling sideways fast, from the left of the diamond to the next point, shuffle facing outwards to the next, shuffle facing inwards to the next and shuffle back to the start point facing inwards before sprinting to the far cone.
The last drill was a 3 run drill where the players had to run between two cones that were kept in a straight line some 15 yards apart. The player runs from cone one to cone two, turns and runs back to cone one, turned again and runs back to cone two and turns and heads right past cone one on to the steps behind.
After this drill, he showed us a few strengthening exercises for the back - the thinker's pose where he said after 40 seconds one will find the back strengthening considerably and the cobra which is more pronounced. Then we did abdomen strengthening exercises where the players lie on their back and do crunches, holding their position to a count of five, then with legs stretched upward at 9 degrees, then with leg folded so that the right leg touches the left knee and small crunches are done by lifting the body in that direction.
As warm down he suggested that players stand beside steps and put up their legs on the steps and reach down to touch the heels.
The exercises were interesting and aimed at improving flexibility, agility, speed, balance and coordination. I am sure that they will look very good on screen once we shoot them and also provide good material for any youngster watching the movie.
Thanks Gaz, for taking time out and coming over to help. It was a huge help. Wishing you well in Australia and by the time you return we can show you what we have done.