A Study On The Effectiveness Of Reaction Ball Training For Novice Cricket
Player To Improve Hand-Eye Coordination And Reaction Time.
B.Kannabiran, V.S.T.Saikumar, S.Gerald Edwin Raj, G.Sathya Bharathy
Cricket has been an established team sport for hundreds of years and is one of
the most popular sports in the world. It originated in England and is today very popular
in countries such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, West Indies and South Africa.
It is played by two teams on a pitch and involves batting, fielding and bowling. There
are 11 players a side and a game can last anywhere from one day to 5 days. Cricket
is a game that would appear to require little muscular strength, agility and hand-eye
coordination. In fact, cricket is misleadingly difficult and it also presents major physical
training challenges for the athlete, particularly at an elite level. For a cricketer, the most
overlooked part is the aspect of good fielding. With good fielding ability & skills, one
can save many runs and hold on to those catches that makes a great difference in the
game of cricket. Moreover, fielding is not like batting or bowling. Player with fielding skills
even when they less contribute from their batting/ bowling they make-up the loss by
fielding. Keeping your eyes on the ball right through the game. Improving your fitness,
stamina level and hand-eye coordination through exercise and proper training. Practicing
catches & improving your ball throwing technique. Practicing to hit the stumps from different
areas of the field. Certainly your fielding will only improve through practice.
Fielding in cricket requires a range of different skills such a Close catchers require the
ability to take quick reaction catches with a high degree of consistency. This can require
considerable efforts of concentration on, as a catcher may only be required to take one
catch in an entire game, but his success in taking that catch may have a considerable
effect on the outcome of the match. Infielders field between 20 to 40 yards away from
the batsman. The ball will often be hit at them extremely hard, and they require
excellent athleticism as well as courage in stopping it from passing them. Infield catches
range from simple, slow moving chances to hard hit balls that require a spectacular
diving catch. Finally, infielders are the main source of run outs in a game of cricket,
and their ability to get to the ball quickly, throw it straight and hard and make a direct
hit on the stumps is an important skill, for this ability a player must possess good
agility and hand - eye coordination, Many cricketers are particularly adopt in one fielding
position and will usually be found there. Slips and bat pad require fast reactions, an
ability to anticipate the trajectory of the ball as soon as it takes the edge, and intense
concentration They should see relatively little fielding action with plenty of time to react,
allowing them to rest between over’s. Players noted for their agility, acceleration, ground
diving and throwing accuracy will often field in the infield positions such as point, cover
and mid - wicket.
The study was a pilot quasi-experimental study involving pre- and post-test design. Ten
recreational cricketers were randomly selected by random sampling technique. All ten of
them were trained with reaction ball drills followed by warm up activities for one session
per day for a period of 1 month. The study was conducted in RVS cricket academy RVS
College campus cricket ground, Tamil Nadu, India. Male players aged between 18- 22 years &
Dominant hand either right hand or left hand. Players wearing contact lenses or power
glasses, any recent trauma or injury, hypomobility of joints, any infections , or under any
medications , low back pain and professional cricket players were excluded from
participating in the study. Reaction time and hand-eye coordination were measured before and
after reaction ball training. first the Pre-test for Reaction Time and Hand-Eye Coordination
on all ten subjects, using Ruler Drop Test and Alternate Hand Wall Toss Test followed by
Training with Reaction Ball after proper warm up exercises. Finally Post-test for
dependant variables for all ten subjects, using Ruler Drop Test and Alternate Hand Wall
Steps of procedure
The players are trained with warm-up exercises so that there won’t be any
discomfort during the training session. The main aim of the warm-up exercises is to
elongate and lengthen the muscles. The warm-up exercises also helps the players to
rule out the asymmetries in the body and makes the muscles in both sides equal.
Mainly the warm-up exercises reinforces the flexibility of the body to optimize the during
Reaction ball drills:
At first the player is explained about the training with reaction ball, before going
for reaction ball drills the player is trained with the reaction ball by simple throw and
catch and toss and catch. This will help the player to understand how the ball bounces
in different directions and how to react to it. During the beginning the players found
difficulty in reacting to ball, by that time the players were taught touching the ball is
enough. Later the players were enjoying the training session and the players were quick
enough to catch the ball. As a progression smaller reaction ball is introduced to the
player this will be much more difficult for the players. The subjects were trained specifically
with two drills namely burning ball drill & side step drill.
Burning Ball: Burning Ball involves three different levels of exercises which increase in
difficulty. Throughout this exercise, maintain feet at shoulder width with knees slightly
bent. This stance provides good balance and enables trainee to “spring” into the
necessary step to catch the ball. The player will Catch the ball in one to two bounces
without chasing it. Starting to Drop the ball from knee height, waist height and chest high and
The Side Step: This exercise involves quick movement using side-to-side steps. The player has
to catch ball with a minimal amount of steps. Standing approximately 5 feet away from the wall,
facing the wall & Bounce the ball off the wall and catch it using one or both hand then Slide
toward the ball using side-to-side steps but Do not chase the ball.
DATA ANALYSIS & RESULTS
The number of subjects for the study was 10 (n=10). The age group of subjects were 18-22
years males and were assigned in one single group. The subjects were trained for
reaction ball drills followed by warm up exercises. The subjects trained with one session
per day like that of 2 months. Before starting of the training session the pre-test was
conducted for reaction time and hand-eye coordination using ruler drop test and
alternate hand wall toss test. Followed by the training program post-test was conducted
for reaction time and hand-eye coordination using the same tests. The readings for pre-
test and post-test values of ruler drop test and alternate hand wall toss test is given in
table 1 and table 2 respectively. The ‘t’ value ruler drop test=8.201 , and for alternate hand
wall toss test=16.51,both the test shows significant ‘t’ value signifying that Reaction Ball
training for novice cricket player will improve reaction time and hand-eye coordination
TABLE 1 : Shows the mean value, mean difference and ‘t’ value between pre-
test and post-test in players for Ruler Drop Test.
Variables Important Standard
Paired t value
Reaction Time Mean Mean difference
1 Pre- test 15 2.22 0.81 8.201
2 Post - test 12.7
In paired ‘t’ test, the calculated ‘t’ value is 8.201;‘t’ value is 3.250 at 0.005 level above
values shows that there is significant improvement in reaction time among the pre-test
and the post-test value.
TABLE 2: - Shows the mean value, mean difference and ‘t’ value between pre- test
and post-test of in players for Alternate Hand Wall Toss Test.
Variables Important Standard
Paired t value
Reaction Time Mean Mean difference
1 Pre- test 28.6 6.7 1.264 16.51
2 Post - test 35.3
In paired ‘t’ test, the calculated ‘t’ value is 16.51; ‘t’ value is 3.250 at 0.005 level above
values shows that there is significant improvement in hand-eye coordination among the
pre-test and the post-test value.
Figure1 : Shows pre-test and post-test mean value in Ruler Drop Test.
Figure 2:Shows pre-test and post-test mean value of Alternate Hand Wall Toss Test
In the game of cricket agility and quickness plays an important role rather than
fitness, to perform well in the field it is essential to have these qualities for a player.
The study shows that reaction ball training will improve reaction time and hand-eye
coordination for novice cricket players, thereby improves the fielding skills and agility of
a player. The number of subjects for the study was 10 (n=10). The subjects were trained for
reaction ball drills followed by warm up exercises. The subjects were trained for one
session per day for a period of 1 month. During the initial period of training the players
found difficulty in reacting to the ball after certain training showed improvement and
were able catch the ball easily. Mark verstegan (2009) proved that reaction ball training
will improve a players reaction time, hand-eye coordination, agility and quickness. When
a player is good in these aspects the fielding skills and batting skills, it is essential to
possess the ability to react quickly to a ball.
Reaction ball training & drills with burning ball & side step are effective in improving the hand
eye coordination & reaction time among non-regular cricket players
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