Yes, Yes, Yes: How to Effectively Assess Each Shot

I don't know about you, but I work with a number of talented players who are prone to overanalysing their technique and outcomes when they are batting.

 I even did this myself!

 The result is that their over-analytical findings impede their ability to learn from the previous ball or shot yet also be focused and ready to play the next ball to the best of their ability.

I use the “Yes, Yes, Yes Game" to counteract this over-thinking.

It's a simple game that assesses the key components of batting and promotes instant feedback and assessment, thus creating enough time to put that feedback in the right place in the mind and focus on what matters; the next ball!

YES Number 1: Decision Making/Shot Selection

How many times do we make a right decision/shot selection and then get out? Not many from my experience.

So, making the right decision is vital. Ask yourself if you chose the right shot. If the Answer is YES then move on to YES Number 2, if it's a NO then quickly work out the reason. Often is that you weren't focused at ball release and had mental interference that impeded your decision.

One of the most common examples of interference is playing the bowler rather than the Ball. If we watch the ball and play the ball then our decisions are likely to be more appropriate. If we try and second guess the Bowler then our ability to make appropriate decisions is likely to be impeded.

YES Number 2: Was I balanced at ball strike?

Studies have shown that over 80% of dismissals in Test matches occur when players are still moving their feet or head to the ball as they attempt to make contact.

Batting is about moving from a balanced position at ball release to a balanced position at ball strike (the best batters achieve this consistently) so a quick assessment of this question will help inform you without cluttering the mind for the next ball.

If YES then Move on to the next question, if NO then quickly establish the reason (where is my head on release? Where is my head at ball strike? Was my movement forward led with the head or foot? Etc).

YES Number 3: Did I make contact under the line of my eyes (straight batted shots) or in line with my eyes (pull/sweep)?

On straight batted shots the maximum level of control, power and timing is achieved when the ball is contacted under the line of the eyes. If you were to drop a plumb line (a weight on a piece of string) from your eyes then that is the ideal contact position. The ball shall go along the ground with timing and control.

 

On cross batted shots, the eyes are generally behind the line of the ball (pull and sweeps). There are exceptions obviously (cut/hook at times) yet this concept can be applied to most cross batted shots.

If YES then well done, if NO then make a snap assessment, learn quickly and focus on the next ball.

Examples of YES, YES, YES Game feedback

The 3 decisions should be made straight away (take no more than 2 seconds to deliver) by the player and in a coaching session, relayed back to the coach.

The aim is to provide the player with a simple and defined framework for her to assess performance and identify instant feedback that can inform without distracting or interfering with the next ball.

If a player says YES, YES, NO then the batter knows that the focus should be to play it he ball later.

If a Player says NO, NO, YES then the focus should be on ensuring that the ball is watched hard, with a clear mind and that they are more likely to be balanced if an appropriate decision is made at ball release.

YES, YES, YES then crack on and repeat it!

This framework has helped many players assess performance to self-coach in practice and in the middle. As KP says, "The best coach in the world is yourself!" 

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Comments

I blame the way cricket coaching manuals are written in this incredibly complex style listing all these different shots. Instead of emphasising what is similar with each shot they emphasise the differences. No wonder batsmen get confused about which shot to play when.

I maintain there are only really three of variables that change with each shot: you either step forward and into line or back and into line, you either bring the bat through vertically or horizontally, and you either try to hit it hard or simply deflect it.

You seem to have a similar view to the one I hold. When coaching younger players I try to emphasis the things that are the same in shots as much as the differences. As you say, many shots have the same 'core principles' behind them.

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