For England fans the 2010-11 Ashes win has been a long time coming, but is there anything us humble club players can learn from it?
Clearly, you can’t put in the same time as the full-time contracted professionals. But you still want to do your best.
We all do. It’s more fun when you play well and win.
When you apply these three simple tips, you will be a bit more like an Ashes winner in your next game and start playing better:
The English players have never been fitter. I remember being told by a former coach that you don’t play cricket to get fit, you get fit to play cricket.
He was absolutely right.
In the friendly game, cricket is seen as a form of exercise rather than a pursuit. This starts to change when teams begin to compete. Get fitter and you will see the benefits as you stretch for that third run or stop a ball on the boundary.
If I have learned anything from playing cricket over the last ten years it’ this: To maintain your enjoyment and interest in the game, you must be concerned with your own improvement.
Every training session is an opportunity to work on an aspect of technique. Watching others means having the chance to learn from them. Dedication to even the slightest changes in method will pay dividends in a match, whether you’re bowling more maidens or protecting your stumps.
England showed us that they were committed to their cause and to each other. It showed in the batting partnerships, in the way the bowling unit worked as a group to create wicket-taking opportunities and it showed in the high quality fielding.
It’s not difficult to play in this way, whatever level of cricket you enjoy.
If everyone is committed, if each player is trying their hardest and working towards the same goal, that’s half the battle.
You will win more often that you lose.
These are three simple lessons you can take to your team. It’s what I’ll be saying to my team as they pull out their kit bags this winter.
About the author: Lucy Sweetman has loved cricket all her life and played since she was thirty. She is captain of Lansdown Cricket Club Ladies XI in Bath.
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image credit: SarahCanterbury