Does your club make this mistake when you train?

A couple of seasons ago the cricket club I play for were in trouble in the league.

With one game to go the first team needed a win to avoid a fate worse than an England Twenty20 performance: Relegation to the depths of the third division.

We were confident victory could be ours. Home advantage and a weak opposition gave us the upper hand. The first team all turned up for extra training on Thursday. The captain demanded the selected team arrived at 11:30 the morning of the match (start time is 2pm) for practice and warm ups.

Cricket confidence can feel like a bank account

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"Confidence can feel like a bank account sometimes and after making some solid investments today, I know that the skills will be there when a withdrawal is made under the pressure of a big match."

Jeremy Snape

I love this analogy for building confidence on the cricket pitch.

Do you make these mistakes as captain?

Who was the best captain you ever played under? Hopefully you learned a lot from them. If you didn't you might still be making these mistakes:

  1. Ignoring advice. Advice is a funny thing. There is always plenty around when the team is doing well, but when you are getting soundly thrashed the captain is on his own. Despite this a good captain always takes on as much advice as he can (even if he has to seek it out). Everyone has an opinion and often it's different from your own so consider everything.

How to be as fearless as a 5 year old

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Have you noticed the way kids involve themselves totally in the moment?

Fear of failure, injury or any other consequence is nowhere to be seen.

It's something a lot of cricketers can learn from. Being able to get into the moment or the zone is a skill even the top professionals have trouble achieving. Yet to a five year old it's the most natural thing in the world.

You might suffer from this if you have ever:

The rise of chirping, or Should wicketkeepers shut up?

Poor old Matt Prior. The first English wicketkeeper who dares to use a bit of lip to put off the batsman gets told by an Aussie to shut up.

Ignoring that irony, one thing that is for sure is that the noise of keepers at all levels has dramatically risen under the the banner of chirping. The theory is twofold. First you put off the batsman by making him lose his concentration or feel under pressure. Second you keep the fielding side on their toes through constant encouragement.

Do you have the mental toughness to be a great cricketer?

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This guest post is by Liz Ward.

If you believe you have the power to succeed, to thrive in difficult circumstances and have the characteristics and traits that promote survival, perhaps you have, and as soon as you realise that 80% of your performance is in the mind, you will start to become great!

Of course, technique is important and mental strength is no compensation for lack of skill, but you stand there facing another player who has devoted as much time, effort and yes; blood, sweat and tears, dedicated to their technical education as you.

5 ways to outwit the batsman

Matthew Hoggard is famous for saying bowling is about running in and wanging it down.

That's nothing but bluff from the Hogster as he knows good bowling at any level requires a constant battle of wits with the batsman.

In close situations it is often the player who reads the game best and thinks the most quickly who wins out.

Here is how you can do the same when wanging that ball.

Cricket psychology without the mumbo-jumbo

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Recent research has show that sport psychology techniques work even for people who don't believe in all that mumbo-jumbo.

I'll be the first to admit psychology has a bad reputation in the sporting world. If professional players still view ideas like self-talk and visualisation with suspicion, what chance does the average club player have of using these powerful tools to his or her advantage?

Club players just don't trust the ideas.

Readers Tips: How to get into the zone

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In this new series I am inviting readers to submit their experience, tips and advice on how to improve your cricket. Mansoor Khan kicks things off with a discussion on how he gets himself into the zone while batting. Comments are open for your feedback.

I believe that on game day my frame of mind and how psyched I am before a game really affects the way I bat.

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