Batting Goal Setting is About More Than Your Yearly Run Target
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.
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I normally target 1000 runs and 50 wickets. Last year I got roughly 850 runs at 50.1 and 60 wickets at 10.3 in 14 40 over games and 15 T20s.
Thought the bowling was good, but a bit disappointed in the batting, I got a lot of not outs, but when I did get out it tended to be for single figures.
I think this year I will target the same roughly.
I think you also need to consider your role in the team when goal-setting for batting, and the overall success of the team. If you're a lower-order batsman who could potentially contribute 200-300 runs per season, but the side is batting well and you aren't getting the opportunities to bat, you should also be taking this into consideration.
I have an ideal target in mind, but rarely get there for multiple reasons - including that as a number 11 I bat maybe 8-12 times a season in 30-40 games and am left not out on about half of those occasions.
That doesn't mean that I feel like I have failed because I didn't reach my target, it just means that I didn't have the opportunities to get the number of runs I would have liked.
If you're setting yourself targets like this, you have to regularly assess progress and the realism of the target you've set, probably monthly during the season.
David, thats one of the reasons I don't encourage my players to set 'absolute' targets in terms of runs as there are a lot of other variables that can come into play. Perhaps for you a better measure would be:
* % not out in losing positions (not sure of your league rules, can you get a losing draw making a not out worth something?)
* run rate in winning positions
Both of these can be based on rolling figures as well as a total for the end of season.
Equally for keepers, I prefer them to keep a track of % chances taken rather than setting a target of (say) 40 catches in the season which may prove impossible if they dont get the chances or achieved by June if the bowlers are on song and its muggy for all of May!
I think its more of a casual season long target - after all, mixing up league games with friendly 20-20s makes it no more ultimately meaningful than this ridiculous notion of 100 "international" centuries that Tendulkar is chasing. I do like absolute targets though, because it encourages player to want to play and want to contribute. Its a measure of both talent and commitment.
On a match by match basis, I prefer people simply to aim to be able to say "I contributed today". Whether its runs, wickets, a great fielding performance, or simply setting a good example attitude, or a bit of everything. If everyone contributes something, you're unlikely to be on the losing side.
This is one reason I always encourage young cricketers to become allrounders - it jsut gives you more chances to contribute, and the more you contribute, the more you enjoy your cricket.
Great advice on goal setting.
You may want to check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It's clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.
targeting is pointless, its just one more thing to distract the batsmen. we should not veer away form the ball that has ben delivered, and put the ball in the appropriate area.
KISS-keep it simple, silly.
If you'd like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:
You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.