It doesn’t matter how good a coach you have, because when you cross the white line it’s all down to you. No coach can play for you. You have to learn to understand your own game because you can adapt to the changes proposed by your coaches.
But in today's cricket world, a keen self-understanding is uncommon.
Meanwhile in the academic world the opposite is true. Schools and Universities specialise in teaching skills then measuring how well you have learned through exams and coursework.
Training programs in professional skills like computer science or business management are professionally devised and executed with ample opportunities to interact with prospective employers. The goal is to create self-aware professionals who can slot straight in to a business.
Despite being equally professional with large rewards for high-performers, cricket lacks this structure.
So why not take a leaf from the education book and create your own “MBA in Cricket”?
The Pinnacle Program by C Cube is setting the example in this area. C Cube aim to formalise and quantify the learning of their students; just like they are doing an academic course. The way this is done is by:
Track performance over key indicators
If you are a bowler, how often do you hit your length? How fast do you bowl or how much turn do you get? As a batsman, how often is the ball going in the air and how many times do you get out in practice?
By analysing your performance in the the indicators that you find important you will quickly see where your weakness lies, and also see improvements. This is the very nature of deliberate practice in action.
Of course you need to track results, you can’t improve if you are not measuring. C Cube use PitchVision to track every ball. You can use good old fashioned pen and paper instead, but one way or another it’s crucial.
- Step 1: Decide your key performance indicators
- Step 2: Track them
If you need some help deciding exactly what to track, check out the worksheets in PitchVision Academy’s courses section. Courses contain pre-defined tracking sheets to help take the pain out of deciding.
Integrate the physical and mental
The body and mind are not separate. You can’t separate your mental game from your fitness from your technical skill.
For example, if you have a good defensive technique against fast bowling, you feel more confident, meaning you spend longer at the crease so your fitness improves.
So when you are considering your own mental toughness and fitness plans, you must know how to integrate them together to become a well rounded cricketer. Mostly this means having plans in place to join the dots together:
- Use BATEX to integrate physical endurance, patience and batting tactics
- Use visualisation methods during net sessions to stay focused
- Set controllable goals for each session, match and season
- Use practice games to add pressure to practice
Improve your theory
Cricket is mostly about practical application in nets and games, but all good cricketers (like all good businessmen) know the theory behind the practice. It speeds up learning and gives you a foundation from which to build (or break if you prefer).
C Cubes Pinnacle program has exclusive theory sessions where they invite players who have faced challenges at the highest echelons to share their thoughts in very specific subjects. The last superstar to visit was Muttiah Muralitharan.
You can also access these players through PitchVision Academy. With names like Pietersen, JP Duminy and Mike Brearley offering videos just a few clicks away.
You should also watch as much cricket on TV as you can, aiming to analyse what is happening and work out how you would play in the same situation. They take that learning out to practice to put it into action immediately.
These practices are the basis of the Cricket MBA. If you can’t get to C Cube for your formal cricket education, you can still do it yourself.
Many thanks to C Cube Sports, Chennai for providing assistance with this article. I have no hesitation in highly recommending the Pinnacle programme.