Cure the Mid Season Slump with These Simple Tips (Part 2) | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Cure the Mid Season Slump with These Simple Tips (Part 2)

Last week we looked at a couple of trusted methods to turn mid season slumps into season ending purple patches.

But keeping a team firing right until the end of the summer is tough. The run in can seem endless, especially with poor form to cast doubt on ability. If last weeks strategies aren't completely doing the job then these additional upgrades will get your players right on track.


Slow, deep breathing

Anxiety is the enemy of any player wanting to recover from a mid-season slump. Anxiety causes muscles to become tense and movements become heavy and slow.

To alleviate this sensation, many players concentrate on controlling their breathing to calm themselves down and increase their focus on the things that really matter.

I encourage players to practice the skill of slow and deep breathing away from the pressures of the middle. Players can master this anxiety beating technique before taking it into the nets and them into gameplay.

Slow, deep breaths. It's a very simple, yet cracking slump busting strategy.

Unlock your inner rockstar

This is an NLP strategy that has worked for many elite sporting icons in tough situations. Lots of rugby goal kickers and top tennis players have told me that they would play with a song whirling in their heads or even humming their favourite tune to take the minds focus away technical limitations or performance pressures.

To start a player with this strategy I ask them to either bat in nets with their headphones on or have music playing through a nearby speaker. The player gets into the habit of humming or singing quietly as they running up or wait for the bowler to bowl.

Young players in particular take to this very quickly and it really works. Give it a go.

  • West Indian Carlisle Best used to commentate on the deliveries he would face! This amused many opposing slip fielders yet worked off the same NLP strategic foundation. I have not used this approach yet but it worked for Carlisle so may work for you too.
  • Some Test bowlers have used a counting method to distract their minds on their way back from poor performance. Simply count the steps in the approach as you hit the ground each time. This works as a distraction technique and also helps a bowler to build a sense of rhythm in their approach. This is something that all bowlers crave for and yet rhythm is often the first thing that a bowler complains about when the wickets start to dry up.

Act like your favourite player

Encourage a struggling player to actually pretend that they are "inside the boots" of one of their favourite players as they run in to bowl or when facing a bowler. This is another NLP technique that works wonders to reverse a slump.

This strategy can become part of a visualisation process or a physical one out in the middle.

I used to pretend that I was Mark Waugh to get me out of a slump.

Now obviously, I never looked like him, I couldn't play the wrists shots that he did but I did find that my game would improve when I pretended to be Mark Waugh.

I even bought a pair of Slazenger batting gloves to make the experience feel more authentic!

Don't laugh, it always worked for me.

Techniques like these work well for some people, but not all players. That's why I use them as upgrades to add value to the more conventional breathing, enjoyment and feel strategies that we discussed last week.

You are now armed with a tool box of tips that will make the mid-season blues a distant memory.

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Nice article