Here's an easy way to stay focused during your bowling spell

Bowling is hard. At least when you bat and you are out you can hide in the pavilion, but when you bowl and are clattered for 3 boundaries in a row there is nowhere to hide. You have to finish the over.

No wonder the mind becomes cluttered with thoughts and plans when you stand at the top of the mark.

But an unfocused mind makes it difficult to bowl. How many times have you bowled wide outside the off stump, tried to compensate and end up throwing it down he leg side instead?

Stuart Barnes, the Gloucestershire bowling coach, has a unique way any bowler can deal with the turmoil in the middle: breaking down the walk back to your mark:

As you can see from the picture, as you walk back you can split your return into three stages:

  1. Clear. The walk from the end of your follow through to the stumps is the time to think about something else. Forget the ball that has just gone or the one you are going to bowl and think about what a lovely sunny day it is, or anything to relax your mind from the stress of bowling for a moment. Wipe the slate clean.
  2. Review. When you reach the stumps, bring your mind back to the game by thinking about the ball just bowled. Was it what you wanted to do? Did the batsman react in the way you expected? Did the ball move as much as you thought it would?
  3. Plan/Decide. When you are about halfway back, stop reviewing and begin planning the next ball. Will you do the same again? If not, how can you change your plan based on what has happened so far this over?

By the time you reach the top of your mark you are ready. You know what ball you are going to bowl without confusion (you have already done your planning and decision making in the walk back).

This will improve your consistency by giving you more mental strength.

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Comments

yeah its ok but what about when u have a great plan and you are bowling with your plan but the batsman keeps hiting for 2,3,or boundary.what to do now?

That is a very good question Muhammad. My answer to that would be to stick to the framework. Infact I would argue that it is even more critical when you are getting tap to stick to the framework. Why you ask? Well basically when you are getting hammered left, right, and centre, you mind can start racing, the pressure valve rises, your teammates heads drop down, your own head drops down, you display negative body language and you are caught up in this bubble of negativity that will affect your next delivery unless you keep a lid on things. The thing about great players is that they have worked out a game plan that works for them and they stick to it. And you often find that when they struggle, the reason is they have gone away from this game plan. The good thing about this framework is that it allows you to have a mental break, go over what has just happened the last delivery and prepare for the next delivery. So by following the framework you don't allow negative thinking to overwhelm you and you keep your eye on the ball.

To be precise, the power of the preceding delivery is restricted so that it doesn't affect your performance. If you have been smashed for three fours in a row, mate you don't want to carry the mental baggage of 12 runs in your fourth delivery. During step 2, you analyse briefly what went wrong and in step 3 you plan for the next delivery.

So let's just pretend we are in a game situation and you have just bowled three fullish deliveries which the batsmen has driven to the boundary. Going back to your forth delivery, you have a mental break, you review what happend the last ball, noticing he is good of the front foot and for the next delivery you plan to pull your length back to short of a length. So really, you don't have that much time to get caught up in negative thinking, which is always good.

Afcourse, if this framework doesn't suit you, the important thing is to find a framework that does and stick to it, especially when the going gets tough.

Oh its really great.Thankx

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