Here's a brilliant batting drill based on a TV show.
First the back story: I ran a session this week with four cricketers from school who haven't played a great deal over the summer holidays. One of the players in the session has made huge progress this year.
Here's a problem: Batting is unfair, batting practice is too fair.
What do I mean?
The biggest frustration of batting is getting out. One mistake and it's over, even if it's the first ball you have faced of the season. Yet when we go to a net practice we all do 10-20 minutes no matter what happens and walk away satisfied that we got a good hit.
The problem, then, is when you practice you feel no pressure and when you bat in a game you feel all the pressure. There is a huge disconnect and your practice time is wasted. It leads to losing focus, playing poor shots and fewer runs.
The solution is simple: make practice unfair.
I know you don't like to think about it - nobody does - but there will be times where your innings has collapsed and you are at the crease. If you have the right approach, you can see this as your moment to shine.
Picture the scene in your mind: The let's say the score is 140-7 in 40 overs.
There are 10 to go and you are batting first. You know a winning score on this ground is close to 230. Numbers nine, 10 and 11 are all tail-enders who can hang about but are not going to score a match winning innings.
You have two options.
Last night at net practice, one of my team was sent in to bat. In one hand was his bat, and in the other hand was a bunch of cones. I had to ask what he was up to.
"I had some trouble against spin in the last game", he admitted, "I want to work on it today. Can we just have spinners bowling and I'll mark out my scoring areas with these cones?"
I spent the weekend heading up the Cricket Zone at SportFest15 in the grounds of the glorious Wormsley Estate. 1000's of children were coached by Sporting legends over the two day festival.
The Cricket zone had 6 areas including the PitchVision net manned by Andrew Strauss and Simon Jones.
Another section is called "bowl at Hoggy's Stump". In 2014, England legend, Matthew Hoggard batted for 2 days in a net armed only with a stump. The children loved it, so did Hoggy!
This year we upgraded the stump to a middling bat.
Sam Lavery talks about the power, and problems with "automatic response" batting.
As the players I coach progress through the age groups on the road towards the professional game, I often find myself trying to help them train their "automated responses".
Whatever your style as a batsman, you can't use it as an excuse.
If you are a big hitter and you get out in a tight run chase trying to clear deep midwicket, you can't shrug and say "it's the way I play".
If you are a naturally cautious batsman there is no excuse for making the middle order have to take risks because you have wasted balls at the top of the order.
Some might say it's selfish batting.
England's disarray against fast bowling at Lord's was not a surprise to those who have watched them closely over the years.
Despite Lords being a very good batting track, England seemed clueless against the fast bowling onslaught in the 4th innings.
Australia shifted their length of attack to push the batters back and then pitched the ball fuller to bring the stumps in or get the edge. The classic combination of short, short, full. The same combination that undid them in Australia 18 months ago.
So what can be done in this situation?
Here are some drills.
Have you ever wondered why you can turn a slump in form into feeling on top of the world in one ball?
You know the feeling. You are batting terribly and feel like you will never middle another one. They you get a soft half volley and you nail it right out of the screws. It screams to the boundary and you are transformed. As the commentators often say, sometimes it just takes one good shot to feel good again.
Yet, nothing has changed. You are exactly the same person you were one ball before, with exactly the same skills.
We have all been there; the nagging bowler who doesn't give you anything to hit, and just keeps plonking the ball on a length.
Time after time, while the runs dry up.
You fear being called too defensive, so you try hitting it and end up caught. Your game ruined.
What can you do?
It's simpler than you think, it just takes a little practice.