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Aussie cricket kings fly in training!
Around the Academy:

Brett Lee
Lee makes a successful landing
When the Academy caught wind of some of the world's finest cricketers training with a parachute on their backs, we had to investigate!

The Australian cricket team sailed past the opposition on their way to World Cup glory and no one seems to be able to get even close to them.

And recently they've even been breezing through practice!

We asked top Australian Sports Science co-ordinator Dave Lasini from the UK Sports Institute to explain just what Brett Lee and co have been up to.

You may have seen movies of American footballers or athletes dragging a tractor tyre behind them.

Well, attaching yourself to a parachute is a modern way of achieving the same effect.

The principle behind it is to create extra resistance when performing an exercise.

It's a training tool that overloads the body, forcing it to do more effort and generate extra power.

That means you need to increase your power output to achieve the same running speed and efficiency that you had before.

When you take the parachute off there will be less resistance and, over time, the plan is you'll run faster!

Australia's Ian Harvey
The Aussies find a new way to carry their shopping
It's used mainly as a form of sprint resistance training.

It's more specific than working out in the gym, though it definitely complements weights work.

There are various ways of getting great results from this kind of training.

For example, athletes may jog for a few metres and then once the parachute is up in the air they'll run flat out for 30 or 40 metres.

Then they'll walk for a few paces to recover before repeating the procedure four or five times.

Is it good for cricket?

You bet. It will help improve players' speed between the wickets, help fielders chasing balls to the boundaries and improve a bowler's run-up.

Every player on the field will find the training helpful.

Athletes love to use it - the exercise provides much need variety, which helps to stop the boredom kicking in.

It's new, different and presents an usual challenge.

Also, it's really enjoyable and brings out the fun aspects of competition.

You'll often hear athletes saying; "I'm Superman - look at me, I'm flying".

Or they'll brag that they're so strong they need a huge parachute to hold them back.

In the case of the Aussies, they'd probably be able to wear them during a match and still find a way to come out on top!

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Athletes love to train using the parachute - the flying start is a favourite!
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Dave Lasini


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