Don't Let "Peak End Rule" Make you Train Like a Dummy | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Don't Let "Peak End Rule" Make you Train Like a Dummy

Adam Kelly is a sport psychologist, coach and former professional cricketer. In this article he shows us the importance of memory in performance.

Here is a fact that will shock you if you coach or play cricket: Coaches can accurately remember only 40% of performance.

Explains why analysis is important in the modern sports environment, doesn't it?

You can't improve if you can't remember, so in a moment I am going to explain how to deal with this issue. But first, it's important to understand whywe only remember 40%.

According to research by Daniel Kahneman, we are all prone two phenomenons; 'duration neglect' and 'peak end rule'.


Duration neglect refers to the memory of an experience where we focus on snapshots of crucial, or end experiences, otherwise known as the peak end rule. Most people are unaware of their own duration neglect or that peak end rule experiences directly affect their evaluations.

Research has revealed that if the end pain of a medical procedure is high then the patient will remember this snapshot and think that the procedure was painful, regardless of how low the pain may have been earlier.

How does this relate to cricket coaching?

The power of the preceding delivery

As performance is in small scheduled intervals, the peak end rule plays a role in coach feedback. For example, when a bowler bowls a poor delivery a the end of a match or net session. Peak end rule suggests that the feedback provided by the coach would be more negative as his or her view of the performance is influenced by the timing of the bad ball.

If this takes place the coach has fallen for the duration neglect as he or she has failed to take into account the duration of good performance prior to the last minutes.

There is no doubt that our memory is not accurate. This supports the use of performance analysis at competition and training. Statistics are more objective and catalogued throughout the event. Using this objective measure allows coaches to provide feedback that is accurate and reflects the whole experience not just that last mistake.

Stop your memory playing tricks

So, how can cricket coaches reduce our athlete duration neglect or peak end rule?

  • Use performance analysis, like PitchVision, which is based on statistics that are important to successful performance.
  • Use a performance log to catalogue what happens during training as well as competition, to provide informed feedback.
  • Record the duration of the good, as well as bad points.
  • Reflect on performance throughout the session or competition.
  • Finish training sessions in a positive manner. This plays on the peak end rule to help the athlete to have a positive memory of the session.

Read more from Adam Kelly on his blog.


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