Dr Ganesh Dutt Chugh is a respected cricket coach and sport psychologist based in Gandhinagar, India. He has an impressive CV including 3 Masters Degrees, a PhD and real life experience coaching since 1985. He has been psychologist to many private clients as well as the Indian netball and volleyball teams.
Dr Ganesh was kind enough to answer some questions for me recently on cricket psychology.
Can you give examples of players you have coached who have seen the benefits of sport psychology?
The list of the Players is quite long. The two latest players are Manish Parmar, who has been selected to represent the India A team, and Ishwar Choudary who has represented India at under 19. Both of them play for Gujarat State in the first class Ranji Trophy championship.
Why do cricketers need psychological skills to perform at their best?
Cricket players requirements are different from the others sports person as the game is much more mental. All behaviour is control by the mind. The way you think influences your body's reaction.
Another important thing I would like to mention is that each and every individual is going to react and behave differently in the same situation.
What psychological skills does the modern cricketer need to perform?
I have got excellent result with psychological drills such as Auto-genic training. This is performed daily, ideally after training:
- Ask the player (after cooling down) to lie on the ground. Ensure that no part of their body touches another part.
- Keep palms upwards and away from body. Keep the chin up and the air passage unobstructed.
- There should be no tension at all on any part of the body.
- Ask the player to close their eyes
- Command the player to inhale, pause then exhale.
- Depending upon the response of the player you may go for 10 to 15 time this process of inhaling and exhaling.
- After this tell the player to focus on the feel of their nose and the feel of their breath. During this process they should not move their body at all.
- After 3 to 5 minutes (depending upon the response of the player), you may command them to go to sleep.
- Keep quiet for a couple of minute.
- Ask them to open their eyes only.
- After a minute or so ask them to turn left and slowly get up
- Ask for feedback on how they feel before, during and after this drill. I promise you will hear wonderful experience.
You can include a drill like this as part of regular net training.
If you have any cricket related problem, please contact Dr Ganesh Dutt Chugh via his website at cricketclinic.co.in