Dave is a budding leg spin bowler putting in a lot of practice and keeping track of things on his blog. One of the critical factors for his team is getting the early advantage:
"I reckon we've got the psychological edge on them already, they'll all be thinking now - 'that's why that twat walks around with a cricket ball all the time' then realise I've been doing so for months and that we might be serious about this!? The plan is coming together - I can smell victory already, we've already won the psychological battle, all we need to do is turn the screws a bit more......"
How does Dave continue to turn those screws and get the opponents ready to lose?
- Club Clothing. Nothing says 'we are a team' more than all looking alike. That means as much club clothing as possible. Caps are great because they are cheap but so are jumpers, shirts, tracksuits and, if you are really keen, training shirts.
- Impressive Drills. Fielding drills are not just a way to practice your fielding. Make sure you have one drill that looks complicated and difficult (but is actually easier than it looks) and perform it with the whole team when the opposition are looking on.
- Team Talks. Another team unity trick is to ensure the opposition know that you are plotting their downfall. This works on matchday by having a team huddle before play or running out of the dressing room together. In Dave's case he can work on them off the pitch by consipring in corners with fielding diagrams within the eyeline of the others.
- Sledging. Banter is a vital part of cricket. If you can put opponents in a negative frame of mind by pointing out their cricketing shortcomings you make them doubt themselves. This also works if you make it seem like you are training harder than them too. Drill plans, books on cricket, getting fit and practicing all the time are great ways to do this.
All these tricks are relatively negative but effective. They knock the other team down rather than build your team up. You can get them ready to lose, but you also need to be ready to win. That means never giving up, trusting yourself and knowing your tactics.
Good luck Dave, and good luck everyone else joining (or starting) a team in 2007.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008