Ask any sports psychologist whether setting goals for sporting achievements are right or wrong and they will answer yes and no.
What do they mean?
Goals give you a target to which you can gauge your aspirations and your down-falls.
But you need to set your goals realistically and over a term that suits the situation in order to avoid disapointment.
I reached my ‘serious’ batting maturity by setting myself a target of runs to achieve by the end of the season, and after a couple of years of doing so I found myself failing to reach these targets and trying to find reasons and excuses as to why I didn’t achieve my goals.
The problem wasn’t the fact the goals were set too high and unachievable, but more the fact there are so many variables in cricket that affects the outcome.
The first thing you need to do is be realistic to your ability. Figure out your average runs per season in past years and add roughly 25%. If you’re a heavy run scorer over the season, this will equate to another couple of big scores through the season.
Secondly, you need to manage this total. Don’t just set your goal at the start and wait until the end of the season to dwell on the result.
Batting involves so many variables that can affect your progress to your goal, so you need to break it your total down into manageable pieces.
The first couple of months of the season will probably be the hardest to score in. The weather conditions will make it harder to bat as well as still being rusty from winter preparations.
The main middle chunk of the season will be your best chance to make the main portion of your runs.
The end of the season should be where you focus on the find total.
So with all these points in mind, set yourself mini totals to achieve that will amount to the whole season’s goal.
These mini goals should be based on the conditions you bat as well as the opposition you face.
If you find it hard to judge your main total and broken down totals should be; try looking at the next four fixtures and depending on the conditions and your opponents what you would like to achieve in that time. Perhaps what your team will need you to contribute in order to compete.