Graham Gooch: How to Coach Batting Concentration

This article is an excerpt from the Graham Gooch Runmaker eBook available on PitchVision Academy. For more details, click here.

Anyone can score 30 if they can play a bit, but to make a big score your concentration has to be better and stronger. Whether it's a long match, one day match or even Twenty20, it doesn't matter. If concentration is sharp, alert and in tip top nick, then you make less mistakes.

Three Myths You'll Hear When You Lose (And How To Handle Them With Facts)

"Of course, you know why you lost..."

If you have ever played cricket, you will have heard some variation of that statement after a defeat. Everyone has an opinion.

It's the situation England found themselves in the 2015 World Cup, where their first two games were one-sided defeats. I'm sure your team has been in the same position, and has asked the same questions about how to turn things around.

So, here are some common misconceptions about the reasons behind a loss. They apply at every level, it's just the shouting from the sidelines gets louder the further up in standard you raise. Avoid the trap of believing them within your own team and you will be able to get out of your slump rather than chasing your tail.

Quick Tip: You're Biased

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We are all biased.

Humans are a bundle of biases and contradictions that we live with happily. It's hard to recognise and you think you are being fair and reasonable when you are often far from the truth. While many times a useful bias is useful, it can backfire.

Take the common "positive expectation bias".

Quick Tip: Don't Mistake Dreams with Goals

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Quick, if I asked what is your goal for the cricket season, what would you say?

Maybe it's 500 runs, or 50 wickets. Perhaps it's getting selected for a higher team. Maybe it's something else totally.

These are fine ideas. They are not goals, they are dreams. So, you need to be careful with how you try and reach them. Goals and dreams are handled differently.

Inspire Your Team by Using Golden Moment Speeches

How important is a speech to rally your players?

According to Jolyon Finck, it's crucial. Jol is the Director of Swimming at Millfield School and was the successful coach of the England Squad in the Commonwealth Games of 2014.

Recently Jol spoke about having to deliver those "Golden Moment" speeches to his athletes ahead of each heat, semi-final and final.

In total, Jolyon gave 57 speeches.

In these moments the coach aims to focus, relax, motivate or positively distract the athlete to help them get into their ideal performance state.

Why You're Not a Cricketer

Does this story ring true with you?

When I was a boy, I wanted nothing more than to play cricket full time. I would go to sleep dreaming of playing for England and winning the Ashes (with the occasional foray into scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup Final). I would study my heroes on TV, read magazines and books, and play, play, play.

When there were no club games we played in the garden or on the outfield at the cricket club until we couldn't see the ball any more (and sometimes even when we couldn't).

It seemed like the perfect life. Does it to you too?

How to Be a Better Opening Batsman

How to Be a Better Opening Batsman at CricketAsk most people about opening the batting and they will tell you about batsmen who can block. Occasionally you get a big hitter.

Yet opening is about more than "seeing off the new ball" in your cricket match. It's a matter of good organisation, and a position that is specialised. The bowlers usually have the upper hand with a new ball and fresh legs. That means you, more than any other position, need to have your cricket wits about you.

So, what really makes a good opening batsman?

What Can "Crossy Road" Teach You About your Batting?

Round here, Christmas is a time for families and presents rather than fours and wickets. The festive period gave me more time to do some things I wouldn't normally try.

And I got slightly obsessed with a game called Crossy Road. The game is simple: You try and get your character across an endless road and get a point for every move forward. Being the badger that I am, I realised it's teaching something about cricket.

Crossy Road is a lot like batting. You the longer you play the more you score but if you make just one mistake your game is over and you go back to zero next time. So, how you respond to the frustrations of this game will tell you a lot about your mental make up with the bat.

Neurotic, Extroverted or Stubborn: Training Motivation for Everyone

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We all have parts of our personalities we like and dislike. What's great is that whatever your personality, you can use it to motivate yourself to train better harder and longer.

And you know what that means: More runs and wickets!

You might be lucky and be the sort of person who loves training and playing all the time. This type of person tends to have an orderly, organised mind and high levels of resilience to call upon during hard and boring parts of training. Although that's not always the case.

But what if you are not like that? What if you have some barriers to training?

How to Build Resilient Cricketers

The final piece in the mental toughness jigsaw is resilience. Players scoring high in resilience have a great ability to bounce back strongly after any disappointment. Their confidence remains bulletproof for a long period of time, which protects them from the ups and downs of self-belief.

These players have a positive attitude towards the future. Resilience high players are focused on finding solutions and taking steps forward: Dwelling on problems is not something you will see in these characters.

These players experience disappointment, but they quickly move their focus on to regaining control and taking positive action.

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