Being a slow scorer is like being the person who takes the last cake at tea without asking; it smacks of selfishness.
And no one wants to be accused of being selfish.
Avoiding this accusation can do weird things to even talented batsmen. I've seen otherwise sane club 1st XI openers slash across the line to good length balls just to stop themselves playing out 2 maidens in a row.
Don't fall for that trap and give the bowler an easy wicket, make sure you keep these 5 things in mind instead:
1. Look for quick singles
It's surprising how many singles you can pick up when you are looking for it and trust your partner. You don't even really need to practice, you just need to be aware.
Yet most club players are trained on the 'if I block it I don't run' mentality and stay lodged in the crease while an alert non-striker could be home before cover even has the ball in his hands.
As well as defending, there are easy singles to be had by looking out for fielders standing a little too deep, or by setting off when you see the ball is going to the fielder's weaker hand. Let's be honest, how many times do you see a direct hit at your level even from the stronger hand? You are safe as houses.
2. Bat with a more aggressive player
This is really about knowing your role.
If you are a more defence minded player, the captain may want to use you as the anchor of the innings; scoring more slowly while attacking players smash with freedom around your solid play.
That's a nice situation to be in, because you can nudge the single and admire the fireworks for the rest of the over.
It also rubs off a bit on you, so when you do get the half volley you try and hit it instead of becoming becalmed and blocking everything.
3. Learn a safe shot
Some slow scoring batsman are afraid to play their shots because they don't trust their technique and they freeze in the headlights, not wanting to be found wanting.
But at club and school level nobody has all the shots. All you really need is 1 or 2 shots you know you can play well enough to get you out of trouble then wait for the ball in the slot.
It doesn't really matter which shot it is, although if you are picking one to learn the front foot on drive is probably the best value because it also teaches you to stay well balanced and aligned in other shots.
This will mean you getting into the nets and developing the shot in the proper way rather than just 'having a go' at it against the random net bowling, but the hard work is worth it when you have the confidence of decent technique in a few shots to fall back on.
image credit: greencolander