BEING in lockdown is not much fun, whether you are a professional athlete or a parent with hyperactive children.

This should be the time of year when cricketers - whether they're part of Somerset's 1st XI, Chard Cricket Club or Ilminster's Under-11s - are playing, training and coaching.

That's not possible at the moment, but that doesn't mean that we can't practise, at home or in the garden.

We spoke to Sophie Luff, who is Somerset Women's captain, a two-time Kia Super League winner with Western Storm and last year's Chance to Shine Schools Coach of the Year, about what it's possible to do within the social isolation guidelines.

Luff's playing and coaching experience leads her to emphasise creativity as a crucial part of any training for cricketers, young and not-so-young.

The 26-year-old said: "I think it's about being as creative as possible.

"No matter whether you've got all the equipment in the world or you haven't got that much, it's ultimately what you do with that equipment that matters.

"If you've just got a ball and a wall, there's so many different fielding things that you can do - different pick-ups, different bounces off the wall and catches.

"There's so many different ideas on social media and online, it can be a bit overwhelming.

"I'd be encouraging young players to be as creative as they can and come up with their own ideas.

"You can see all these videos and try different things, and think 'actually, I haven't got that equipment but I could do this'.

"It's a good chance to encourage players to be creative - we're always encouraging them to do that in a coaching environment, whether it's getting them to play different shots or bowl different types of deliveries, so it's no different in that respect."

If your powers of creativity are drawing a blank - fear not.

You might need something to get you or your children started, and fortunately the internet is not short of options.

For practising cricket skills, Luff recommends the weekly Chance to Shine activities - one of which featured her batting at home!

She said: "Chance to Shine have been doing a weekly activity and putting that out on social media.

"I was lucky enough to be involved in the activity for week three.

Somerset County Gazette:

DRILL: Sophie Luff in action. Pic: Chance to Shine/YouTube

"It's just a little drill that you can try at home, and one week focused on coming on your own ideas."

While team training is out of the question for now, there is plenty that we can do as individuals to stay in shape - whether that's yoga or going for run, and whether you're a recreational player or someone with a set club programme.

"I've been working really hard on my fitness, as this is a great opportunity for players to put a lot of work in, when they have a lot of time on their hands," Luff said.

"Working out in your garden or your living room, whatever space you've got, can make a big impact on your fitness at this point.

"Whatever you can do to stay active is going to be beneficial.

"I follow certain programmes and have plans in place, which help me train.

"I do a lot of interval-based running and conditioning sessions, and then I'm lucky enough to have a bit of fitness equipment at home so I'm still able to do my strength sessions, which has been a godsend really.

"Cricket's one of those games where you need a certain level of endurance conditioning, but you also need some strength as well in order to bowl faster or hit the ball further.

"So any sort of core work you can do is good.

"I know there's a lot of pilates and yoga online, which isn't something that I've delved into too much, as it never seems to fit my energetic style of exercise, but it is something that I've been giving a go over the last couple of weeks.

"I need to do more stretching, so I've had more time on my hands to focus on that side of things."

Sport is not just about physical fitness, of course, as the mental side of the game is also important - staying organised, keeping connected with friends and team-mates, and looking at personal development.

Luff said: "I have a daily routine and I have a little whiteboard, so I write what exercise or workout I'm going to do the next day.

"That fits my personality in terms of my planning ahead and knowing what I've got going on the next day.

"I think routine really helps, especially if you're not working at the moment - putting that in place is a good idea.

"And then just trying to stay connected with people.

"So I'm trying to stay connected with as many people in the cricket world as possible - just checking that they're OK, and they can check that you're OK as well.

"Keep talking to people and try to stay positive.

"Now is a great time to think about whether there's something new that you want to learn, or a new skill that you want to develop, and that could be anything," she added.

"We've obviously got more time than ever to do that, and there's a lot of things that we always put off because we can say 'I don't have enough time to do that'.

"Now's a great opportunity to do something new."

If your workout is finished and you're still thinking about cricket, then there's always podcasts...

"I've been listening to Sky's cricket podcast," Luff said.

"I'm not usually a podcast person, as I haven't had the time to listen to them before, but you find that you're still thinking about cricket even without the playing side, so they're really good as well."