Like us, millions of players aspire to represent their country in cricket. We feel proud and happy just to consider representing our country on the pitch. We all have a similar love for the game and a desire to fulfill our aspirations of becoming professional players, regardless of whether we are merely students or working professionals. For us, playing for our national team is the ultimate objective that motivates us to work hard and push ourselves to the maximum since it is more than simply a sport to us.
We do everything that we can to achieve what we dream of. To become a cricketer, the foremost thing is to know everything about the sport. And just as you go to school to study and learn something new every day, we join a cricket academy to learn the basics, the technique, and everything about the sport gradually. These academies are cricket training centers that provide coaching, practice sessions and a sense of belief and motivation to aspiring sports stars. It is a player's first step towards realizing their dreams. These places cater to all kinds of players, from beginners to pro and provide coaching and training facilities to all. They help us develop and improve our skills so that we become the best version of ourselves.
Read the Cricket Batting Tips and Techniques article by ZAP - Your Personal Cricket Academy!
The Plus Points:
Coaching with expertise:
Most of the academies are owned or run by former professionals. They can appoint expert coaches who can train the students to perfection. In fact, many Indian legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Irfan and Yusuf Pathan and Ashish Nehra have their own cricket academy that groom and develop youngsters into legends like themselves. You can also join a club in your school or area, which provides the same kind of service. Some great coaches like Ramakant Achrekar, who groomed the God - Sachin Tendulkar, are treasures, as they teach you the lessons of striving for perfection and being the best along with everything about the sport.
The coaches of most of these academies are expert scouts. They can understand how talented a player is and groom them so that they realize their potential in reality. Coaches help with consultation too for extremely talented players and may also provide them with financial support if necessary. The talent we have in our Indian team, like Shubhman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, all were very young prodigies. They were all groomed by their coaches exceptionally well and then went onto play the ICC Under-19 world cup and now represent the men’s team in all formats.
Exposure to competition:
Competition always brings the best out of every person. Academies are filled with people with the same end goal. Everyone wants to be better than everyone else. Every player is competing to be the best. This exposure to competition can truly motivate a player to put in a lot of hard work to do better. Apart from competition within, you also need to play matches against other teams. These matches are very competitive, and each team plays for their pride. Newer players and youngsters always are the waterboys for these matches, I have seen those days too.
Top Notch Facilities:
Players get top quality facilities by joining a coaching centre. Such training schools provide players with a maintained field to play on, well prepared pitches, and nets. Some places even have indoor nets to practice during the rainy season. The bigger coaching centres even have special training rooms and gyms for players to keep up their fitness.
A place to network and make great new friends:
Academies are places where you make new friends, both on and off the field. You get to play with players better than you and learn from them. You get to improve yourself everytime compete against players better than you. You also interact with newer players, and have to help them out with their batting stance, how to grip their bats, how to hold a ball while bowling, everything. Having good teammates or friends can also help you work on your shortcomings and improve your skills. Your teammates help you improve in areas where you lack with those extra hours of throwdown drills, bowling drills, or fielding drills. I remember me and one of my closest friends always staying back for an extra hour to do our separate practices and help each other improve. My backfoot game wasn’t as strong as my frontfoot game, and my friend was a bowler, so it was a win-win for both of us. He used to help me play shots like the backfoot drive and the pull shot by bowling good and short length deliveries, which helped improve a lot upon those areas.
Exposure to Professional Matches:
Academy players generally get to play a lot of matches against other clubs. Players learn through playing such matches how professional matches work and develop an attitude of discipline and teamwork. Also, for younger players, they get to watch matches of older players and experience semi-professional matches first hand. This first exposure can boost their hunger and the desire to work harder.
The benefits of joining an academy are many. They are a great way for aspiring cricketers to gain the skills and knowledge of the sport and get better. It is a structured environment with expert coaches and amazing facilities. Though there are some disadvantages to being part of a training school. Here are some:
A lot of advantages come with joining a club or academy. Younger athletes can study and discover everything there is to know about the game this way. However, one thing you must constantly keep in mind is that anything worth improving takes time. In this organised setting, there is a lot to learn. But there might be some particular factors that cause issues for many players; you should first think about the following issues.
An academy is a structured environment made as per the players’ playing levels. It requires you to be punctual and disciplined with training sessions, which will help you get better everyday. Aside from this, putting in those extra hours on the field can really help you take your game to the next level. But if you’re not able to give time to the sport, due to any reason, be it studies, work, job anything, you must consider not joining an academy.
Expensive Coaching and Equipment:
A good academy has a high fee, to provide you with all the top services. Pursuing this sport also requires you to buy the kit, which could be unaffordable for some people.
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A lot of competition:
Competition does bring the best out of you, but it can also be very demanding mentally. You can expect a lot of players of the same age as yours to work endlessly to achieve the same goals as you. There’s a lot of competition among all the players, and everyone wants to be better than everyone else. The pressure to perform at their best can boost a lot of players' confidence and be very motivating for them. But for some, this pressure can be very stressful.
Some of the best Cricket Academies :
KIOC Cricket Academy in Karnataka
Karnataka Institute of Cricket is one of India’s premier training schools which has given us players like Manish Pandey, Veda Krishnamurthy, Robin Uthappa and many domestic players.
Dronacharya Cricket Academy:
This training school takes its name from the revered ancient Indian guru, Dronacharya. Located in Delhi, this training centre strives for excellence in coaching and has a panel of both national and international coaches.
Brian Lara Cricket Academy
The BLCA is a cutting-edge training and competition facility for the creation of cricket players of the highest calibre. The BCLA provides a venue for watching games and a training facility that will shape the development of future sporting giants to students, coaches, and fans.
National Cricket Academy, Bangalore
The NCA at Bengaluru, Karnataka is the official training school for the players of India. It comes under the administration of the BCCI.
L.B. Shastri Cricket Academy in Delhi
Credit: LB Shastri Cricket Shaala
This training school is known for its top quality infrastructure and the yearly international trip that they do for players all round development. The place has produced legends for India like Gautam Gambhir and Amit Mishra.
Dilip Vengsarkar Academy in Mumbai
This coaching centre is spread across various locations in the world and serves a large number of players at once. This training school was launched by the Indian batsman Dilip Vengsarkar as it is one of the best coaching centres in the country.
National School of Cricket in Dehradun
A centre with an unbelievable infrastructure. With indoor pitches and a world class gym, this academy is the best for young and emerging talent.
Sonnet Cricket Club, Delhi
This is one of the oldest and the best academies in Delhi. Legends like Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan all came out of this coaching centre and went on to play for India at the highest stage.
All things considered, taking up coaching at a cricket academy should be the first stepping stone towards your aspirations. These institutions provide you with the opportunity to learn from the best, train with like-minded individuals, and continuously develop your skills. With the will to work hard, discipline and dedication, and a willingness to always learn, you can use your time at an academy to lay the foundation for a successful career and become a star.