The Cricket Performance Pyramid: Athlete Development System for Cricketers

Cricket Performance Pyramid
James Breese: Strength and Conditioning Expert at Cricket Matters
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James Breese, Cricket Matters Founder

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I want to introduce you to the Cricket Matters cricket performance pyramid: The ultimate athletic development system for cricketers.

This is an adaptation of an article I originally wrote for Strength Matters called The Strength Matters Performance Pyramid

This innovative system is revolutionizing the way we approach athletic training for cricket players, teams, and coaches who use it to work together to enhance player performance.

Designed specifically for cricket, the cricket performance pyramid optimizes athletic training and maximizes player performance efficiently and effectively, whilst reducing the risk of injuries.

Our approach moves beyond traditional cricket training methods, introducing a structured, progressive framework that accommodates the unique needs of cricketers at all stages of their athletic development.

The Backstory of the Cricket Performance Pyramid

In the autumn of 2016, a pivotal moment reshaped my views on health and fitness. At 33, I faced the stark realization that I had lost my athleticism, a jarring reminder of my aging process.

This epiphany led me to conceptualize the ten components of fitness for cricket and athleticism.

My background in computer science drove me to approach this challenge analytically, seeking to clearly define and address each component to regain my physical capabilities.

During this period of self-discovery, I was drawn to the film “The Founder” starring Michael Keaton, available on Netflix.

Founder Film | Cricket Performance Pyramid

The movie, which explores the origins of McDonald’s and its rise to a global franchise, intrigued me as a business owner.

It showcased the effective systems McDonald’s implemented, enabling virtually anyone to open a franchise, which sparked further inspiration for structuring my own ideas.

Key Insights from “The Founder” Applied to the Athletic Development of Cricketers

Watching “The Founder” unexpectedly revolutionized my approach to the athletic development of cricketers, offering profound insights from an unlikely source.

Despite its lack of health focus, here are three vital lessons I gleaned:

  1. The Importance of Product Quality: The film highlighted the relentless pursuit of refining a product, which in the context of cricket, translates to constantly improving a cricketers skillset and their levels of fitness for efficiency and effectiveness.
  2. Simplicity in Systems: The movie underscored the value of straightforward systems that are easy to follow and replicate, crucial for achieving long-term success in any field, including athletic training for cricket.
  3. Consistency is Key: The consistency with which McDonald’s delivers its product is something to emulate. In athlete development, ensuring that training programs are delivered uniformly can significantly enhance the training experience and outcomes.

The movie detailed how Ray Kroc’s emphasis on systematic implementation propelled McDonald’s success—applying this to athlete development in cricketers, it became clear that we needed a more defined, consistent process.

Previously, our system lacked written protocols, relying instead on the coaches’ knowledge and educated guesswork, leading to inconsistent and sometimes chaotic results.

Inspired by these lessons, I realized the necessity of establishing a structured, scientifically-backed system for creating training plans—a system that is easy for cricket coaches to implement and guarantees effective results for our cricketing athletes.

This approach would not only streamline our operations but also raise the quality of our athletic development programs for cricket.

The Importance of the Cricket Performance Pyramid

The establishment of systems and processes is crucial for building a successful business and is equally essential for the athletic development of cricketers.

Previously overlooked, the necessity of a structured approach became apparent to me as a foundational element for long-term success.

Implementing a systematic model in the athletic development of cricketers clarifies our principles and philosophies, making it easier for cricket coaches to align and for athletes to understand our methods.

A reliable system not only streamlines the process but also enhances the precision and efficiency of our training.

It enables quick identification and improvement of any weaknesses, thereby optimizing athlete growth.

Having a system ensures that all athletes know their position within the athletic framework and can track their progress effectively.

This structured approach aids in strategic planning and operation, significantly boosting performance outcomes.

The development of the cricket performance pyramid has been transformative.

It has improved the consistency and quality of our athlete results, simplified the integration of new coaches, and enhanced the creative engagement between coaches and their athletes.

This system has not only met but exceeded athlete expectations, allowing us to monitor and adjust training programs effectively.

In essence, the cricket performance pyramid by Cricket Matters has:

  • Enhanced athlete outcomes
  • Provided consistent results
  • Facilitated necessary changes smoothly
  • Simplified training for new coaches
  • Allowed cricket coaches to focus on delivering results
  • Established a clear operational framework for athletic development

The power of this system cannot be overstated, and I am excited to share how it can revolutionize the athletic development of cricketers.

Introduction to the Cricket Matters Performance System

Before we dive into the details of the cricket performance pyramid, it’s crucial to grasp the overarching fitness model we employ.

Cricket Performance Pyramid | Pyramid of Health

This is a broad overview from a high-level perspective.

At the core of our coaching philosophy is the belief that health is paramount in every cricketer’s journey. Without robust health, achieving long-term athletic development is nearly impossible.

Therefore, we place the highest priority on health above all other aspects.

Once a foundation of good health is established, we then shift our focus to the quality of movement.

Good movement paves the way to improved fitness—a term that varies widely in its definition.

For some, fitness is about coping with daily life, while for others, it’s a pathway to sports excellence.

This ambiguity in definition is intentional, as it allows us to address the diverse needs and goals of those we train.

Nutrition, while vital, is something we address later in the journey, and there’s a strategic reason for this which we’ll explore in future discussions.

Now, let’s examine how the cricket performance pyramid integrates into this framework and enhances our approach to the fitness and athletic development of cricketers.

Overview of the Cricket Performance Pyramid

Before diving into the Cricket Performance Pyramid by Cricket Matters, I recommend reading our blog post on the ten components of fitness for cricket.

It provides essential context that will enhance your understanding of this discussion.

At Cricket Matters, we uphold the philosophy that every cricketer is an athlete in their own right.

Whether you’re professional cricketer or a club cricketer who just plays on weekends, our goal is to prepare you for whatever challenges life may present.

The cricket performance pyramid offers a comprehensive framework designed for cricketers at all levels of fitness, guiding them towards elite athletic performance.

The pyramid is built on ten fundamental components of athleticism:

  1. Mobility
  2. Stability
  3. Balance and Coordination
  4. Strength
  5. Aerobic Capacity
  6. Power
  7. Speed
  8. Agility
  9. Anaerobic Capacity
  10. Mental Resilience

Each component is crucial, but some must be developed before others to fully develop the ultimate cricket athlete.

10 Components of Fitness for Cricket

Exploring the Layers of the Cricket Performance Pyramid

The cricket performance pyramid consists of three distinct layers, each crucial to the development of cricketing athlete:

Layer 1: This foundational layer focuses on essential movement skills.

Layer 2: Here, we address basic strength and aerobic capacity, which are fundamental for advancing in athletic training.

Layer 3: Often seen as the pinnacle of training, this layer includes more complex and desirable skills.

However, many attempt to jump to this level without mastering the necessary prerequisites in movement, strength, or aerobic capacity, leading to sub-optimal performance or injuries.

To guide cricketers through these layers, we implement a structured assessment process:

  1. Health Assessment: Ensuring overall wellness is prioritized.
  2. Layer 1 Assessment: Evaluating fundamental movement abilities.
  3. Layer 2.1 Assessment: Focusing on initial strength and aerobic capacities.

Progression through these layers is earned, not given.

We’ve structured Layers 2 and 3 into sub-levels (2.1, 2.2, 3.1, and 3.2) reminiscent of advancing through levels in a video game.

Advancement requires passing rigorous standards, particularly before moving to Layer 2.2 and beyond, which are critical for those aiming for professional cricket.

Most club cricketers will find that reaching Layer 2.2 provides sufficient capability for daily life and general fitness.

Layer 3, which less than 5% of the population may truly need, is reserved for those dedicated to pushing their limits in professional cricket.

Our pyramid is more than just a training methodology; it’s a proven success system with detailed assessments that allow us to identify and address individual weaknesses with remarkable precision.

This approach has transformed how we train, enabling faster, more personalized programming and significantly enhancing outcomes.

The introduction of the cricket performance pyramid has been revolutionary, streamlining our training processes and elevating the quality of results we can achieve for our cricketers.

It’s hard to imagine how we managed before its implementation.

Final Thoughts: The Cricket Performance Pyramid

Cricket Performance Pyramid

The cricket performance pyramid by Cricket Matters is an integrated framework that transcends conventional athletic training methods for cricketers by encouragin collaboration between coaches, physios and players alike.

This system goes beyond identifying weaknesses—it fundamentally transforms our approach to the athletic development of cricketers, promoting both personal and team success.

It stands out for its adaptability and efficiency in today’s dynamic, ever changing world of cricketing performance.

While the broader specifics of our standards and assessments will be detailed in future discussions, the cricket performance pyramid, at first glance simple, reveals a comprehensive process upon deeper examination.

Engaging fully with this system, from initial assessments to the advanced stages, typically requires about two weeks, underscoring its depth and effectiveness.

The cricket performance pyramid is not just a training system; it represents a paradigm shift in the athletic development of cricketers.

Adopt this blueprint, adapt it to your needs, and discover its profound impact on your journey to the ultimate athletic cricketer.


What Is the Cricket Performance Pyramid?

The Cricket Performance Pyramid is a structured training model designed to improve the physical and technical abilities of cricketers. It integrates key fitness components into a progressive framework, enhancing athletic performance tailored specifically for cricket.

How Does the Cricket Performance Pyramid Enhance a Cricketer’s Performance?

By focusing on comprehensive athletic development, the Pyramid addresses various aspects of fitness such as strength, speed, agility, and mental resilience, ensuring players achieve peak performance levels.

What Are the Key Components of the Cricket Performance Pyramid?

The Pyramid includes ten fitness components: strength, speed, power, mental resilience, aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, balance, coordination, agility, stability, and mobility. Each plays a crucial role in developing a well-rounded cricketer.

Who Can Benefit from the Cricket Performance Pyramid?

Cricketers at all levels, from amateurs to professionals, can benefit from this system. It’s designed to scale according to the athlete’s stage of development, making it suitable for everyone.

How Does the Cricket Performance Pyramid Prevent Injuries?

By incorporating stability and mobility workouts alongside regular fitness components, the Pyramid helps in strengthening the body uniformly, reducing the risk of injuries common in cricket.

What is Cricket Performance?

Cricket performance refers to the assessment of how effectively a player or team executes the skills required in the game of cricket, including batting, bowling, fielding, and strategic decision-making. It involves measuring various physical, technical, and mental attributes that contribute to a player’s or team’s success on the field. Performance in cricket can be enhanced through specialized training, strategies, and continuous improvement in these key areas.

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