The press coverage of Paul Collingwood is that his run scoring is less about talent and more about being gritty and determined.
If pure determination is capable of a Test double century then it must be a tool that you can use to improve your game too. But what do we mean when we refer to determination and grit?
You can break it down to several factors. All of which you can train yourself up on. If Collingwood is anything to go by, it's better to practice these skills than to groove your cover drive:
- Concentration. Collingwood was in the middle for over 8 hours. He knows how to concentrate and block out distractions to a supreme level.
- Dealing with mistakes. In the First Test Collingwood looked all at sea early on, but he put his errors out of his mind and fought on.
- Confidence. When everyone thinks you are rubbish you have to have supreme confidence to put that aside and keep playing to prove them wrong.
- Preparation. Collingwood is physically one of the fittest in the team. It keeps him focused and give him the basic tools to do the job for long periods.
- Know your role. In a team of strokemakers, Paul is there to accumulate runs as a balance point. He knows it and doesn't try to play any different.
Collingwood has all these skills in spades. Of course, he has talent too (you can't average over 40 in Test cricket without talent) but he does make more of what he has being simply being the best prepared physically and mentally that he can be.
And you can do that too.