What makes the perfect cricket player?

Scott Wrenn, Head of Strength and Conditioning at Northern Districts Cricket

Scott Wrenn, Head of Strength and Conditioning at Northern Districts Cricket

Scott Wrenn is going to great lengths to find out what makes the perfect cricket player. Scott has worked in professional cricket for seven years and has witnessed a lot of positive change both at domestic and international levels.

His thesis, Key player attributes indicating success in domestic T20 cricket within New Zealand: From a coach’s point of view, will identify what is needed to be the best on the cricket pitch.

Firstly, the research will identify key attributes within six areas – Technical, Physical, Performance, Tactical, Mental, and Lifestyle and Support – that are important to succeed in professional T20 cricket within New Zealand.

Secondly, the research will then look at what athletic qualities are required to be successful in specific fielding positions within T20 cricket.

“This research will be carried out from a coach’s perspective. We have world class coaches here in New Zealand, so I will be sitting down with a group of them and asking what they think makes a great cricket player, what attributes they want to see in their athletes, and how we can help foster these attributes,” he says.

The main aim for the research is to promote discussion between high performance staff members. 

“An integrated multidisciplinary approach to athletic development is key – getting away from working within our own silos, will only benefit the sport,” says Scott.

The research will also identify what athletes are currently doing during training, and whether this aligns to game demands.

“Cricket in New Zealand struggles to access adequate training facilities that allow training demands to match game demands. I hope the conversations from my research will lead to innovation in training principles applied within cricket,” he says.

Scott Wrenn with Tim Seifert, Northern Knight and Black Cap

Scott Wrenn with Tim Seifert, Northern Knight and Black Cap, at Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance

As Head of Strength and Conditioning at Northern Districts Cricket, Scott is responsible for designing and implementing the strength and conditioning programmes for the association’s professional athletes.

“I started off as team physiotherapist in 2013 and after two seasons of panel beating and getting players back on the field, the opportunity arose to be Head of Strength and Conditioning. This appealed greatly to me, as a physio you have a limited ability to promote long term change in habit or performance. You are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff so to speak.

“Being involved with athletic development presents the opportunity to make positive lasting change in athletes,” says Scott.

Scott looks after 16 contracted players. He is the direct link between these professional athletes and their coaches and he attends specialist appointments, doctor visits, and spends time with them in the gym daily.

His role also involves setting up programmes for pathway athletes, injury management, and return to play programmes.

Scott formally started expanding his knowledge outside of physiotherapy in 2008, completing postgraduate papers in sports science at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and the University of Waikato.

This year, Scott was offered a Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance Postgraduate Scholarship to complete his Masters thesis at Wintec.

“Apart from my interest in the topic, one of the main reasons I accepted the scholarship was because Pete, my academic supervisor, has structured my Masters so that I can still work, focus on family, and have time for hobbies,” explains Scott.

Peter Maulder, Principal Academic Staff Member, Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance explains he has known Scott for several years through Strength and Conditioning and academic colleagues.

“I knew Scott had completed some post graduate papers but not a qualification. Our Centre is focused on enabling industry practitioners the opportunity to return to study to upskill academically whilst continuing in their work roles. Scott was a perfect candidate.

“Scott’s authentic applied project will meet the needs of industry as it will be coach centred, providing information for key stakeholders to better understand and eventually enhance the key attributes to cricket success,” says Peter.

Scott is looking forward to the personal development he will gain from completing his thesis.

Communicating with other people, understanding human development, and people management are skills Scott is hoping to develop over the coming year.

“Completing a Masters will push you to explore and understand your industry, or chosen area of interest, better. It’s easy to stick to what you know, but I’m looking forward to exploring different areas and learning new skills,” says Scott.

Scott Wrenn and Tim Seifert at Wintec’s Gym

Find out more about Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance.

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