How to Defeat Low Confidence After A Horrifying Start to the Cricket Season

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The worst has happened: You have got off to a horrifying start to the season. Your early hopes have been shattered. Your confidence is shot. Runs and wickets are a mere distant memory.

Bad form at the start of the season is always horrible because you feel you have no point of reference. Without a good performance to your name this season you start to feel like the purple patch is gone for good.

Maybe this year is the year you lost it?

This is the problem my team's batting unit have had since the season began four weeks ago. None of the top six have scored a fifty in 30 one day digs. Like you, we are deep into the land of doubt. Can it even be done any more, or are we resigned to just being so rubbish we can't compete?

This is the classic issue of lost confidence: Players who have performed before who can't repeat it.

So before you throw in the towel, show some grit, dig in and rebuild your game.

One Percenters: Unusual Cricket Training Tricks That Actually Work

Go to a cricket training session anywhere in the world and you will see the usual things: Batting, bowling and fielding. All very sensible.

But if you want the edge - if you want a chance at making it as a cricketer - you need to do more than the basics really well. You need an edge. You need to spend time on some of the following things.

The criteria is simple; the following seven training tricks are not directly related to cricket, but all have been proven to enhance your game. All you have to do is try them for a few weeks. If each one boosts your run scoring and wicket taking by just 1% then you will be 5% better in two or three weeks. That's an awesome return on your investment.

So let's get started!

Graham Gooch on Batting with Confidence

Confidence is slippery. You want it but how do you stop all those negative thoughts? In this video Graham Gooch shares his methods for breaking through doubt and walking to the crease with confidence:

If you can't see the video above, click here.

9 Questions That Will Reveal and Improve Your Cricket Toughness

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Good cricketers are tough in all situations.

You might be on top and in control, or fighting to get out of a jam. The context might change but your ability to fight out stays the same.

Some people are naturals at this mental game: they need no training to stay confident, focused and self-aware. Aside from these genetic freaks, the rest of us need a little more work. Work that no amount of time getting throwdowns or bowling at PitchVision can ever give. Work that happens in your head.

Want the good news?

This work gets real, tangible results in runs and wickets. You don't even need to be at nets, or have anyone to train with. You just need you, and your mind, and some time to think.

Video: How to Practice Bowling Under Pressure

There is a world of difference between bowling in practice, and bowling under match pressure. If you are going ot be a good bowler, you need to be able to handle the latter. So, here's a simple drill you can do to add pressure to your net sessions.

Here's the video so you can see it in action:

If you can't view it above, click here.

Jargon Busting: Ideal Performance State

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I'll be honest, I like to call a spade a spade and not a "vertical foot operated digging device". So why the heck do I like Ideal Performance State (IPS)?

Honestly, I think the term is clunky, but what it describes is something all cricketers can use to play better. That's where it gets interesting: It's where the spade hits the dirt and starts making a hole.

So, putting aside the term, what exactly is IPS?

What Does Success Look Like?

One of the great coaching questions is "What does success look like?"

Millfield Under 15 managed to get themselves bowled out on Sunday for 75 against Gloucestershire CCC U15s. We had a shocker: 2 silly run outs, 2 players cutting balls on the stumps when the ball was keeping low and seemingly no clue of how to compile an innings on what was a early season slow and low pitch.

Master High Pressure Cricket Moments with These Four Simple Messages

Here's an article that looks at the strategies used by NFL football players to deal with the huge pressure of playing in professional sport. It's simplicity can be applied perfectly to cricket:

  1. "Pressure is a reflection of ambition. Rather than viewing the pressure as a negative, look at it as a great opportunity. It means that you know what you want, and that you actually have a chance of obtaining it.

How to Use Matches to Inspire Awesome Cricket Solutions

It's been an exceptional start.

Millfield School started the cricket season this week with two unbeaten Festival wins in the Under 15's and Meyers XI (U18's). We have seen lots of evidence of the winter work paying dividends. A number of players have hit personal best scores or wicket hauls.

However, the rigours of match play exposed a couple of glaring holes in the U15s bowling attack from both a mental and tactical perspective. This forced Steve Wilson (Assistant Coach) and me to think on our feet.

In the first game of the festival, our bowling attack conceded 22 wides in only 50 overs.

Cricket Mental Training: The Complete Guide

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Mental preparation is often overlooked in cricket. We all say how important it is, then go back to the nets for another hit. But it's simple to improve your mental game without ever having to see a shrink. You simply need to be aware of how to do it.

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