Jordan Finney is a cricket coach and sport psychology degree student. In this article he writes about how to get back to form and stay there.
How do you deal with this problem?
One day you feel out of sync. You look like a duck out of water and the 10 runs you score is an achievement considering how you looked and felt in the middle. The next you are in perfect nick, the ball races off the bat and you do no wrong.
You do not become a bad player overnight, nor do you become a good player via a couple of hours practice.
Everybody has their own ways of dealing with bad form.
- England and Surrey hero, Alec Stewart did not do much batting in practice when in a bad trot, he let his ability take over and backed what he had been good at for a number of years.
- Other players enter the nets and just bat and bat until the bowlers physically could not bowl anymore.
Either is perfectly fine, as long as there is a purpose to it.
Having experienced form issue it myself, I know it is not about changes in technique or game plan: it just happens. Practice, preparation, net training and gym work is all done in the same way in the build up to games whether you are playing well or not. So how do we do anything about it?
The key to being both out of form and in form is very simple; do not get to high when you are in form, and do not get to low when you are out of form:
- Compete every innings with the same hunger for runs. When in a bad trot ensure the hunger and belief does not turn into an obsession and when in a good run, make sure that the hunger and determination is there to continue scoring and do not allow for complacency.
- Remember, the bad times are always just around the corner. Be ready to make the most of the good times, while not enjoying them too much. It is great to feel confidence flowing through the veins, and it is important to remember that good ball is just around the corner. That good ball is the catalyst to a tough few weeks.
- The old adage “you are only as good as your last innings” should ring true when you are hitting runs for fun. This approach allows for form to continue because you fight for every run.
- When in bad form, remember what got you to where you are. Remember the record you have had down the years, understand you have what it takes to score an abundance of runs once again. Look at scorecards and relive the days when a match winning knock made you the hero of the day. This will allow the mind to relax, allow the muscles to loosen and the body to return to natural instinct.
Bad and good form are part and parcel of all sport.
Good players understand the rigours of both and how it is pivotal to the success of a career.
Great players will seem calm and cool about their form when out of runs, sometimes frustratingly so to others. They know their time in the sun will come once again. They are not going to turn their back on the positive philosophies that have allowed their career to develop.
They also treat great form with a pinch of salt, are pleased but look straight on to the next game, trying to make an improvement on the last. A long string of constant emotion is key to success.
That way it all just clicks.