Fielding is guilt. Everyone wants to be better at it, but it always plays second place to your main skill so you end up feeling bad about not doing enough.
Well guilt no more, as you can use these three tricks to make an instant difference without endless hours of drills.
It's all in the way you think about fielding.
1. Get hungry
Every coach in the world will throw out the adage: You have to want the ball. But what does that mean?
For me it's a matter of confidence. Players who feel they can do a good job in the field always want the ball to come to them so they can show off their skills. Most players don't have that level of confidence, so they hope the ball doesn't come to them. They don't want the responsibility of involvement in case they mess up.
But even if yor confidence is low, you can still have a hunger to be involved. Think of fielding as your team contribution. You get little to no plaudits for fielding well (certainly compared to taking 5 wickets or scoring a hundred), so it's a selfless act. Remind yourself you are doing it for the team and you owe it to the guy who is currently bowling to do your very best.
Then the hunger for getting involved in the game forces your standards up.
2. Stay Focused
Like all cricket skills, the difficulty is keeping your concentration for long periods. If you are unfocused you are more likely to make a mistake. Keep your focus and you will automatically be a better fielder.
The best way to do this is by staying involved in the game as much as possible. This is tricky if you find yourself camped out on your own in the deep, but here are a few suggestions to keep you switched on:
The last of these can be practiced during fielding drills. Take time to work on your level of concentration in practice and it will pay off when you are on the field.
3. Be positive
Another trait of good fielders is they are positive. They not only want to be in the game, they are confident that when the ball does come they will catch, stop and throw it well. The good fielder stands at point imagining how good it will be when he pulls of a brilliant diving stop. He doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about tripping over his feet or dropping a skyer.
You might be the other way around though. It's more natural to worry than to feel confident for most of us.
Fortunately you can teach yourself to think positive by learning how to visualise success and block out negatives when they arrive. You can get a personalised way to do this on the mental training course at PitchVision Academy.
Just these three attitude chances will see an instant improvement in your fielding. You won't be a better fielder, you still need to practice for that, but you will be making the best of what you have.
image credit: Gary_T_W