It's possible you may not need as much talent as you thought to become a success on the cricket pitch:
Ever wondered how all that high and mighty sport psychology actually works on the pitch? Tom from SimplyCricket gives his own personal experience of working on his concentration to improve his batting form.
It was during another (reasonably long for me) stint at the crease that I began to wonder what was behind my purple patch with the bat. Sure, I had shown glimpses of being able to grind out innings in the past but as most people will tell you, I'm in the team to bowl; any runs scored are considered a bonus.
Firstly, let me say there are many ways of planning an innings! This is just one. You have to adopt a planning process that works for you – that is, one that is successful and you can easily replicate every week. It should be a way of approaching each innings and one that you feel comfortable implementing.
Warwickshire cricketer and part time BBC cricket commentator Dougie Brown's insights into the minds of top players can often be very perceptive. During a recent commentary he came up with a gem.
â€œThe player's minds will be ice; their bodies will be on fire.â€
It was almost word for word the same as the pitchside report from England during the Rugby World Cup Final, an approach personified by the physical excellence and metronomic boot of Jonny Wilkinson.
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.
"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."
I love this analogy for building confidence on the cricket pitch.
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:
- 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.
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:
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.