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11th January 2008

Will Gidman’s Winter Diary

11:00am – Net

I’ve had about three or four nets so far this winter, the reason for the early start is because I’m working on a technical thing, not really a fault, but something that will improve everything about my batting! It’s all about my hands, last year I felt that they started too far forward and didn’t generate enough power, I lost some shape and found myself squared up a lot. So, I’m just working on keeping my hands back further but more importantly for longer. After a bit of experimentation we found the best way for me to do this is to tap the bat on the floor just before the ball is released, the hands instinctively get up and back, then come forward into the ball, all in one motion. This way they haven’t got time to go somewhere there not supposed to! Now if I could draw a diagram for you, I would, because I don’t think my explanation has been that great, but hopefully you’ll see in 2008!

12:30pm – Pilates

We’re delayed a half hour due to our instructor getting caught up in traffic. As far as the actual purpose for the course is concerned, none of the lads are quite sure, however fitness instructor Mike insures us that it’s good for us! The reason we’re all there though and more than happy to give it a go is simple, the instructor, Emma, is rather attractive! And when I say rather attractive, I mean absolutely angelic!

2:00pm – Fitness

Only myself, Rocky (Mark Stoneman) and Big Luke (Luke Evans) are here today and it’s the triathlon, 1000 metres on the rower, 2 k’s on the bike and two laps round the Riverside Complex to finish, all with no rest in between, you have to get as fast a time as you can. I did it in a time of 13:10 which I’m quite chuffed about, however Muchy (Gordon Muchall) who’s generally known around the lads as ‘the machine’ is yet to do it, so my time may yet have to be improved!

10:15am – Boxing

Boxing is something new that I’ve got into this winter, it’s Muchy that has got me into it, and I’m enjoying it. It’s good for my fitness but more importantly I think it’s great for speed of movement, arms, feet, head, it’s brilliant! Although I’m sure I won’t be so enthusiastic after my first sparring session with the coach, Paul, who reminds me of a cross between Rocky Balboa and Jaws (the James Bond character, not the fish)!

12:00 noon –  Weights

On Wednesday’s we do our weights in the new complex at Gateshead Stadium. It’s a bit bigger than our gym at the Riverside and it’s just a nice change really, especially as I live just two minutes down the road! After two or three years of regular weights, making sure it was a low weight but high repetitions to save injury, I’m finally at a stage where I can do the fun stuff and actually feel like I’m working hard, stuff that will actually make a difference! The gym work is important to me this winter for both physical and mental reasons. Physically it’s going to help me bowl a ‘heavier’ ball and hit a harder ball when batting. Mentally, I want to be more of a presence on the pitch, I feel as though if I feel bigger and stronger, I’ll act bigger and stronger on the pitch!

1:00pm – Recovery session

We’re very lucky to be able to use the ‘recovery room’ at this place for the first time. A recovery session generally means one thing, an ice bath! I’ve got to be honest, I despise them.  I walk in to this room to see two big tanks, one for hot water and for cold and to make things worse, there’s two big ice machines in the corner.  Killer (Neil Killeen) came up with a stupid game, but one we all went along with, whoever makes the first sound of pain is buying lunch! It was interesting to see the lads trying, but instead of screaming, they decided to make faces that suggested Harmy ( Stephen Harmison) had just hit all of us in the abdo guard!

10:00am – Net

After lot’s of underarm throws from Judge (Coach, Jon Lewis) to groove my new trigger movement, it’s time to raise the intensity, so we’re on to the bowling machine, with Judge having the instructions to ‘get me out LBW’.  The reason for this is so we can see whether or not the new movement has affected my balance and I’m not falling over. The session went pretty well, although I realise I need to do more high intensity work to really test the new trigger.

11:30am – Fitness

Something a little different today, we went off to do some mountain biking at Hamsterley Forest! We did it in pre-season earlier this year and had a brilliant time, a miracle no one was seriously injured as we did the Black course, but brilliant fun none the less!  This time there was only myself, Muchy, Rocky and Mike. Muchy and Rocky were crazy on the down slopes, but they had to wait at the bottom each time for a good ten minutes only to see me and Mike ever so carefully walking our bikes down, edging inch by inch with very worried looks on our faces. Priceless! The highlight of my day though was definitely riding off on a flat stretch of path, looking over my shoulder to see Mikes bike being pushed to the ground, kicked and cursed at, all because the chain fell off! When he needed me most, all I could do was ride off in absolute hysterics!