We all have our cricketing flaws.
Perhaps yours is a technical weakness stopping you from playing the ball off your legs. Maybe you go to pieces out in the middle or perhaps you find yourself exhausted after a short spell due to your fitness levels.
The combination of problems could be endless. It was not that long ago I found myself unfit, tearing myself up for every mistake I made and living an unhealthy lifestyle. I knew if I was to make the most of my own average talent as a cricketer I need to fix these problems. Its part of the reason I started this site in the first place: To help myself by helping you.
So I started on a journey to dissolve my weaknesses as much as I could. Three years later I realised I had discovered not only hundreds of tips for all kinds of ways to improve cricket performance but also a simple process for fixing problems.
It works. I know I have tried it with both myself and the case studies on the site. I have seen it be successful in:
- Clearing up technical issues in bowlers and batsmen
- Improving cricket specific fitness and reducing injury levels
- Changing 'lifestyle' habits like getting sleep, staying hydrated and reducing stress
- Improving mental toughness and reducing fair of failure
I'm sure with a bit of thought you could also apply it to other areas such as weight loss. As far as I can see the process is simple and universal.
1. Identify the problem and the cause
Most problems start with a simple problem. For example "I keep getting out LBW". However, it's not always as simple as it first seems.
Firstly, you have to check to see if the problem is real or not. In our LBW example you may think you have a problem because you have got out LBW a couple of times when in fact the real issue is something else.
So before you continue it's important to make sure you have the right problem. Our LBW man might go back through scorebooks to see if that dismissal is a trend. If he has access to a PitchVision system he may look how many appeals bowlers had against him (and if they were out or just poor umpiring).
Once you have the right problem you also need to find the root cause. This could be easy. If you are overweight you may be eating too much of the wrong food and not getting enough exercises. If it is a technical issue you might need the services of a good coach or trusted team mate to pin down the cause.
2. Work on the cause
Now is the time to direct your energies to fixing the cause you have identified. If it is a technical error you might go to the nets to do some drills. If it is a confidence issue perhaps your time is better spent improving your visualisation and imagery skills. Whatever you decide is the best method to fix the problem.
With most issues: technical, physical or mental, it takes 2-3 weeks to notice any difference. So perform your drills, or do your training for at least this time before taking the next step.
3. Review your progress
After about 2-3 weeks of work you can go back and check to see if it has made any difference. Going back to our LBW problem, you could have another session on the PitchVision system or get a coach to watch you in the nets for the technical error. If your goal is weight loss then you could measure success by body fat reduction.
Even after a short period you should notice some positive changes: Perhaps a loss of a couple of pounds in weight, a more positive outlook on the pitch or suddenly hitting a run of form. These changes may be small but it's important to record them.
4. Adjust your methods
If you are seeing positive changes the answer is simple: Keep doing what you are doing.
However, not every method works for every person. In order to find out what works for you, you may need to try a few different things. Perhaps your initial identification was wrong, or perhaps you respond differently than everyone else.
Record the changes you make and head back to step 2 to try again.
When you crack a problem in a systematic way there is nowhere for it to hide. While you may have to have a few runs at a your issue, they key is to keep watching and tracking progress until you find what works.
Everyone is different, so the same question often requires a different answer.