You may or may not have heard of Darren Rowse. He has been called many things, but what he does is takes lessons from life and applies them to his job.
Darren recently drew a comparison between practising tennis and practising blogging (he's a full time blogger) and came up with 10 ways to get better at blogging by practising. And just as those 10 ways work for tennis and blogging they can work for cricket.
10 Ways to improve your cricket through practice
- Action/Reflection. As Darren says: Do and then analyse what you did. After every game and practice take some time to sit down and ask yourself: What did I do well? What can I work on to stop myself doing things badly?
- Set Yourself Assignments. I equate this to goal setting. Knowing what you are aiming for keeps you on track. There is a world of difference between "I want to get loads of wickets this season" and "I got 40 wickets last year, I will get 50 this year".
- Use Different Mediums. To get a deeper understanding ofthe game you could play in many formats (20 over, 50 over, indoor) or you could play a totally different sport just to get a feel for understanding the challenges of all sports rather than just cricket.
- Be a Guest. This is a tough one. Playing for other teams than your usual club will make you think more about your game. I have played for three clubs in my time, and each one has set a new challenge to me. Playing against your own club really makes you think!
- Ask for Criticism. Many players want to improve but feel to proud or afraid to ask. I would argue that you should try and get as much feedback as you can from anyone who will talk to you. As long as you take the comments with a pinch of salt and are prepared to listen, review and ignore the advice if it won't work for you.
- Analyse Others. I wouldn't recommend going about trying to coach other people willy nilly (unless you have their respect as a coach), but you can watch others and see if you can spot their errors. You can also learn from watching top players on TV or at first class matches.
- Speak. The closest we get in cricket to reading out loud is self-talk. It's not quite the same, but it is a vital tool for anyone wanting to improve their game and something you need to practice as much as a cover drive or googly.
- Criticise Yourself. With cheap video cameras available you could easily tape yourself in the nets or in the middle for a bit of post-game analysis.
- Get a Coach. A good coach will work with you to pin down your weaknesses. Even a few sessions can make a huge difference. In the UK most first class counties offer one-to-one sessions take advantage.
- Take a Course. The best thing I did to improve was to go on an ECB coaching course. It challenges, stimulates and fills gaps you never knew you had. If you only to one thing on the list, then do this one.
Just do it.
Darren finished his post by saying:
"My tennis coach used to encourage me to visualise myself improving as a tennis player with each ball that I hit against the wall. I think the same can be true as a blogger.
Swap 'blogger' for 'cricketer' and we are there... hopefully!
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