If your life is like mine you always have more to do than there is time to do it. My own answer to that is the system called 'Getting Things Done' by productivity guru David Allen (more on the basics of GTD here). There are a number of ways the GTD principles can be applied to club cricket to improve your game.
- Write it down. Your brain is not designed to store lists of information very well. So while it would be tricky to take a pen and pad out to bat, you can apply this principle at most points in your cricket life: Training goals, scores, ideas, plans and things to do all need to get noted and looked at. Once you have it all down you need to ask yourself:
- What's the Next Action? If you want to improve your strength the next action might be 'go the the gym'. If you are a bowler in the heat of battle the next action could be 'bowl a yorker'. It's a simple question that tears away the stress of a situation and allows you to focus on the outcome rather than how you are going to fail.
- Projects. Some things require more than one action. If they do, the GTD way is to make them, a 'project' (no matter how small that project is). Keep a list of all you cricket related projects written down somewhere and make sure each one is moving forward with next actions. It helps you reach your goals more easily.
- Weekly Review. Every week sit down and review your actions and projects. Are you making the right decisions in the middle? Is your training programme giving you the results you want? Are you working towards something that you no longer find important? Are you getting enough runs or wickets? If you are not asking yourself these kind of things they become a back-of-the-mind confidence sapping distraction. If you are not happy with something you may need to flesh it out by doing some:
- Natural Planning. Who is the opposition next week? What's the pitch like? How can you improve your training? How are you batting against spinners? These are the kind of questions that benefit from you spending time working on them – planning and thinking. Once you have thought through these questions pick out the projects and actions and do them.
I realise that if you don't have a good grasp of GTD some of this may seem to be over-complicated or wishy-washy. That's OK, this is a super-fast-gap-filled-summary of a great system. I recommend you give these things a try anyway. They are easy to do and the worst that can happen is that you don't like them and stop. But to really get the idea (especially if your work or life is busy), get the book and incorporate it into your life as well as your cricket.