Taking a Break: When Less Cricket is Better

Cricket is awesome. More cricket is more awesome, right?

Wrong.

If you want to be a cricketer, there is a balance to be had between playing, practising and doing something else completely. We know from the top level that burnout is a very real issue.

And it can happen to you as well.

Here is how you can use the power of rest and recovery to become a more powerful player.

How to Bowl Perfect Line and Length

Let me ask you something; how much better a bowler would you be if you could hit a perfect line and length?

It's a challenge that takes a lifetime to master, and a road that is littered with distractions. Yet the simplicity is appealing: Put the ball on the spot, hit the seam again and again and watch the wickets tumble.

You don't need to be quick. You don't need to rip it square. You don't need to swing it round corners or even have a clever mystery variation. Those things are nice, but accuracy... accuracy is within reaching distance.

It's so tantalisingly close that you can almost taste the success it will bring.

How to Find Out What Works for You

You want to become a better cricket player, and there is no shortage of advice. The problem is, how do you work out what tips, tactics and techniques work best for you?

Cure the Mid Season Slump with These Simple Tips (Part 2)

Last week we looked at a couple of trusted methods to turn mid season slumps into season ending purple patches.

But keeping a team firing right until the end of the summer is tough. The run in can seem endless, especially with poor form to cast doubt on ability. If last weeks strategies aren't completely doing the job then these additional upgrades will get your players right on track.

Cure the Mid Season Slump with These Simple Tips

Everyone wants to finish their season with some strong performances so they can w̶a̶l̶l̶o̶w̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶n̶o̶s̶t̶a̶l̶g̶i̶a̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶o̶n̶g̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶i̶o̶d̶ help their side complete their targets.

I know that many of your players will feel that this is completely out of their reach as they are stuck in a mid-season slump with the ball or the bat. Without intervention, a player relies on luck to get them back into form yet with appropriate mental and technical a player can be back on track for a late season purple patch.

Here are some mental tips that have worked for me with players as they go from slump to superstar.

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.

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