You can't help but admire Mark Ramprakash. Playing for Surrey, he finished the summer with an average of 103.54 and still had time to go dancing.
The Independent asked him how he did it (the batting, not the dancing) and his answers provoked some thought:
No winter practice
Mark explained he took the winter off for the first time ever. While I suspect he didn't rest totally for 5 months, as an experienced and established player his need to practice and drill is far less than cricketers trying to make it in the game.
As we know, drilling for the sake of it can sometimes be counter productive.
It also shows how important good rest is to helping a player get where he wants.
Mark felt the team spirit was excellent allowing him to know his own and others roles in the team.
While he didn't say as much in the article, the chances are that feeling comfortable with no niggling issues about who should be doing what made a massive difference to his batting. Basically, he could just get on with the job of racking up the runs.
Quality brings quantity
When Mark did start training he describes it as 'quality'. This is an important factor for all players. You could train 6 times a week in an unfocussed way or twice with real goals in mind. The latter would be a thousand times better.
Get a good start
Getting a hundred in the second game of the season on a difficult pitch gave Mark the confidence to go on to greater things. While a bad start is not a disaster, to have a golden season, the gold needs to start in April.
Make the most of your luck
Nobody, even the Don, gets a stunning average without a share of luck of luck. Mark had great weather, flat pitches and edges getting shelled all season. But great batting seasons are built on making the most of your chances when they come. Next time you may not be so lucky.
Get in the zone
'The zone' or Flow is a mental state where you are in perfect balance between being relaxed and tense. If you have ever been working away at something and 2 hours have gone by in a flash you know all about flow. It's a good way to be while batting as Mark explained:
"I am now very relaxed at the crease so I use less energy and can bat for longer periods of time. It is something the Australian opener Justin Langer touched on when he hit 342 for Somerset against Surrey this season in the Championship."
That's flow and you can get there too with a few techniques that are easy to try yourself.
So can you average 100?
It might be a little too much to ask for most people without Ramps natural talent (batting not dancing), but you certainly can make it better by taking a few tips from a man who can.
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