Cricket Load Management – Important Info for Teens!

Teens cricket

Cricket Load Management – Important Info for Teens!

If you’re in your teens and gearing yourself up for a summer of cricket, please read on…

The following information may assist in your pre-season preparation and avoid a potentially serious back injury.

One of our osteopaths, Dr Connie Petousis, recently attended a symposium centered on adolescent athletes. The event was organised by Sports Medicine Australia and featured orthopaedic surgeons, physios, psychologists and dieticians (to name a few). She brings back some important information from Alex Kountouris, the current head physio for the Australian cricket team.

6 key points for load management in cricketers:

  1. Bone oedema, which is swelling and inflammation within the bone, can occur in the preseason. Usually this is due to excessive loading through the low back (bowling) without having breaks and rest days . It is also most likely to occur in the first two months after return to a sport.
  2.  It can take an adult 2-3 years of loading to develop oedema, in comparison to the 2 months it takes for an adolescent to develop oedema.
  3. Due to hormonal changes the bone material content of an adolescent is different to that of an adult.
  4. It can take 100 days for bone oedema to resolve post excessive loading for a long period of time.
  5. Factors which decrease chances of bone oedema developing are: a shorter pre-season time; and having a break between training days – it is imperative that there is a two day break between intensive bowling training sessions.
  6. Having break days between training sessions allows for the Osteoblasts (cells that make up the bone) to work and therefore prevent any micro fractures from occurring which can lead to stress fractures in the bone.

Recommendations according to Cricket Australia:

  • There should be an approximate pre-season of 14 weeks.
  • 2 day breaks between bowling training days should be taken.
  • Aim to bowl more balls on bowling days and then take the 2 day break. This will build up the integrity of the bone and the rest time will decrease the risk of a stress fracture occurring.
  • A 2-3 week bowling rest period in the middle of the pre-season is advised.
  • Bowling 14 overs in a week is sufficient loading – any less than that can hinder loading and development.
  • If a training session is missed it must be made up by bowling more balls on the other training days. Not doing this will result in a risk of stress fractures.
So what’s the take-home message here……?

Don’t try and bowl Brett Lee like thunderbolts from your first training session. Ensure that you apply sensible warm-up and cool down principles to your session, be consistent with training and make sure you allow adequate rest days in between sessions.

If you happen to suffer an injury, it is important to seek medical assessment and intervention as soon as possible. An osteopath is appropriately trained to assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of sporting injuries. You can book with us online here, find out more information on how we can help here, or call us on 03 9580 1820.