The Introvert's Guide to Thriving in Cricket

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Do you recognise this in yourself, Mr/Miss Introverted Cricketer?

You want to be left alone to get on with your role. As a result you tend to be slightly apart from the team. You're not especially interested in the social side of the game, you prefer the challenge set to you by trying to score runs or take wickets.

And as for contributing to the team overall tactics or culture, you have deep and well-considered opinions that you keep very quiet about. Team meetings are a chore and you avoid them at all costs.

You thrive under your own steam.

This can come across - especially to the more socially minded players - as uptight, over-serious or maybe even rude: Think the classic accusation that "he only plays for his average".

You know it's just the way you are wired. So here are some ways to keep the social secretary happy whilst also contributing to the side as a team player and an individual.

Study Reveals How to Improve Cricket Mental Toughness

"The difference between an average cricketer and a top class cricketer is how mentally tough he is."

 

A recent study has looked at mental toughness through the eyes of cricketers and their coaches. The conclusions have given hope to millions of players.

The work comes from Junaid Iqbal at Leeds University, who researched the latest findings from sport psychology and combined them with experiences from coaches and players at all levels of the game.

His dissertation concluded that mental toughness underpins cricket ability at all levels, and it can be improved in anyone.

Once you know that, you are a step ahead of others still focused on technique alone.

So what does that mean from a practical standpoint?

Head Start: Better Batting Beyond Technique

Coach and Minor Counties Cricketer, Chris Watling, shares his experiences with another article on using your mind to get you out of bad form and back to run scoring.

When you're in a bit of bad form it's easy to be negative.

I'm sure you know the feeling of being stunted by in your mindset as you approach your next innings: You start to analyse how you’re getting out. You think about your technique. You want to correct those errors.

Stop the mistakes. Stop getting out.

This approach is hurting your game.

Coach Mental Toughness with the 7C Approach (Part 2)

Last week we looked at mental toughness for cricket and discussed the first 3 C's: Competitiveness, confidence and control

Now let's complete the set.

Here's a Simple Batting Tip to Unclutter Your Mind with Distributed Cognition

Don't you hate it when you can't stop thinking about how you got out?

You sit on the side of the pitch filled with regret and frustration. Sometimes this feeling lasts for days. You kick yourself, you dwell on what you could have done differently. You consider if it's all really worth it.

When it's really bad, you carry all these thoughts into your next innings. Instead of just reacting to the ball you are double checking your technique and tactics and getting your mind in a whirl.

It's painful.

It clutters your mind.

It lowers your batting average.

Coach Mental Toughness with the 7C Approach

The most mentally tough athletes posses the "the 7 C's".

One of the regular questions that we get on the PitchVision Cricket Show concerns the development of mental skills: batting under pressure, dealing with failure and much more.

Change Your Cricket Team for the Better Without Trying too Hard

Winning is important for every team. It's also not the only thing, and that's a problem.

For sides who fall somewhere below the professional level, other factors can easily take over and define you far more than the quest for victory: Jobs, family, escapism from the daily grind and so on.

These factors are real and unavoidable, but they don't have to command the side. With some simple, almost zen-like, changes to your approach, you can account for everything and still become a more professional-acting club team.

Here are some practical tip for calmly becoming more focused on winning without being ridiculed for "taking it too seriously".

Here's the Most Powerful Tool in Your Coaching Toolbox

Coach and PitchVision Academy Columnist Sam Lavery looks at the power of words to help cricketers grow.

Can the way you speak turn players into positive "doers"?

Attention to detail in the language we use as coaches is important as we strive for perfection. Not only is what we deliver vital, but also, how we choose to deliver it.

Simply, language will help cricketers achieve what you - and they - would like.

Here's a simple example.

Use Nets to Better Grow Your Mental Toughness for Cricket

Pressure.

That's the difference between a net session and a game.

In nets you can roll your arm over, or knock the ball about for 10 minutes and have some fun. Even the best managed nets lack the context of a real game. That means there is no chance for you to develop your mental toughness skills.

Which is kinda a problem. You have to teach yourself how to deal with pressure when you are under pressure.

Bat With a Clear Mind? Yes, But Not Too Clear

How much of batting is mental?

We certainly know that you ignore what's happening in your head as you bat you will fail more often. Yet, so often the advice is to bat with a clear mind and "trust your technique".

It's certainly true that technical methods rarely change between formats and situations, but if you bat with the same tactics in the last 5 of a Twenty20 as you do opening in the first innings of a 4 day game you are bound for failure.

Similarly, if you spend the time between balls frantically worrying about how the bowler has spotted your weakness outside off stump and poor footwork, you end up playing worse and getting out.

The famous paralysis by analysis.

Of course, there is another batting method, a method that leads to far more success.

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