Megan Belt: Winter fitness training will help my bowling

Monday 11th January 2016

Since the start of the winter, I have already been to three England development camps at Loughborough University, the first one being a fitness screening where the coaches assessed me on my strength, cardiovascular endurance, mobility and speed.

I will have another screening camp later in the year to see if I have improved on my fitness.

At the camps I work mostly on my main discipline of off spin bowling but also focus on other areas as such as batting, fielding and fitness.

I have specialist coaches for each of the disciplines and work with each coach for a minimum of two hours over the whole weekend.

With my bowling, I have been working on the different variations that I can generate and also trying to adjust my foot movement towards the crease when I bowl.

Sunday is scenario day where we take it in turns to bat and bowl against each other and we will be set a variety of different scenarios that we have to try and achieve.

The camps push you to your limits but this enables you to progress with your game and also make you a much better player.

Being a player in the England Development Squad, you are expected to put hard work in outside the training camps; the camps are mainly their just to guide you in the right direction, so if you don’t put in the work away from the camps then it will more than likely show up at the next camp.

I have another England camp this weekend and the main feature is cardiac testing, so we will be having a different range of tests to ensure our heart is fully functional and ready for the summer.

My main priority this winter is focusing on my fitness as this is the main area I need to work on, since working on it I have seen a positive change in certain aspects of my fitness especially my strength and conditioning.

This is helping me maintain a steady base when I bowl as I am not falling to the side anymore, and also making me have more energy during training sessions.

I am hoping for the hard work I put in at the gym to show in the summer as last year I feel like I was unfit compared to other players at Kent.

At school I study Media studies and am doing a week of work experience to gain some knowledge on how media within sport and Kent Cricket works.

So far I have helped promote community coaching sessions from Kent by using social media to attract people to come along.

I am helping at a few sessions with the community team.

I also watched some of the Kent Men train in the nets and speak to them and I had the opportunity to watch off-spinner Adam Riley train and gain a few tips from watching his bowling and talking to him.

I spoke to some of the players and find out some differences between men and women’s cricket and it was nice to see that they were interested in the women’s game.

I also got to see a different type of bowling machine where it has images of a bowler on a screen running up to bowl, then letting go of the ball, so it is preparing you for a real life situation.

I also had a phone interview with my local newspaper, the Isle of Thanet Gazette, where I got to talk about my preparations during the winter and how I got into cricket.

By doing these sorts of interviews it helps publicise women’s cricket to make it better known and hopefully enables us women to get more support within our cricketing careers.

Megan is Bowler of the Year for the Kent Women's team, sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University.

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