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A week in isolation with: Graham Onions

A week in isolation with: Graham Onions

From P.E with Joe Wicks to making shapes with stones in the garden, it's been a busy week for cricketer-turned-teacher, Graham Onions

After 17 years of winter training. this is without a doubt the strangest preseason I’ve ever had. This time of the year is the most exciting. All of the hard work on the track has been done, the indoor school has served its purpose. Last week the whole squad should have been warm weather training in Dubai and then on to Potchefstroom in South Africa.

Instead we find ourselves thinking ‘are we going to play any cricket at all this year?’

The previous week, we had all trained hard on the Monday and were then told to go home on the Tuesday. I certainly didn’t expect to be home schooling my kids at any point!

One week has now passed and I miss cricket so much. Not that I ever took it for granted, but I’m really missing the competing and being around the dressing room with the lads.

But for now, cricket goes on the backburner and teaching comes to the forefront, not something I ever imagined would be the case!

Morning P.E starts the day with Joe Wicks, as it seems to be doing with much of the nation at the moment, and it’s always good to get the body and mind working early - but it’s always made harder doing planks with my daughter Esmé on my back!

Trying to keep a regular routine is important so we follow with some English classes. Oliver is learning about Neil Armstrong at the moment, building his rocket out of old cereals boxes then having imaginary play, which is great fun, followed by a snack then a football or cricket break in the garden – inevitably, Dad always wins. You never lose the competitive nature…

The afternoon’s work is more relaxed. Oliver is doing addition and subtraction in maths and then has a creative writing session, imagining what he wants to do when he grows up before reading his favourite book, George’s Marvellous Medicine.

After school time is when my training starts, which is different in itself as we normally get the bulk of our work done in the morning in normal circumstances. Today is a bowling circuit to get the body focusing on my specific skill. Lots of hopping, planks, press ups, side flexions with a band, keeping my sides loose and ready for when we start the season (hopefully). I always replicate an over and try to do a spell of six overs to replicate the workload of a typical spell in a Specsavers County Championship match.

Day two of this week was similar, another exercise with Joe Wicks in the morning and school work outside, this time with my daughter, Esmé; collecting things from the garden to make shapes, circles made from stones, rectangles from sticks. Their art class for the afternoon was painting the bench!

The weather was great, so my afternoon’s one exercise for the day is a jog to my cricket club followed by a 2k time challenge. Not my best score of 8 minutes and 2 seconds, but I have been at work all day teaching after all…

Getting training in everyday is certainly different without a gym or nets to bowl, but there are so many ways you can be inventive and still get very good exercise in. Everything is bodyweight work, which suits me just fine, with lots of pilates and stretching. You can follow my progress on Instagram, where I’m often posting updates on a daily basis.

All in all it’s been a really strange week, but a great week spending time with my family. I even managed to jet wash my drive way…

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone, stay safe and hopefully see you all soon.


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