Ever wondered how all that high and mighty sport psychology actually works on the pitch? Tom from SimplyCricket gives his own personal experience of working on his concentration to improve his batting form.
It was during another (reasonably long for me) stint at the crease that I began to wonder what was behind my purple patch with the bat. Sure, I had shown glimpses of being able to grind out innings in the past but as most people will tell you, I'm in the team to bowl; any runs scored are considered a bonus.
Yet, here I was getting close to 4thscore of 40 plus and actually starting to find batting easy, there must be a reason for this I thought, as I crashed (ok, badly timed) another ball to the fence. Once back in the pavilion and relieved of any scoring duties I began to look at anything I may have been doing differently from previous years.
Nothing stood out. I still netted twice a week and as usual often got the last 20 minutes of net time (which I think is fair to say is not always the most helpful slot). I had the same kit and hadn't taken on board any great pearls of wisdom from the local coaches. Puzzled but happy to be scoring runs I let it drift from mind and carried on the season.
It wasn't until a bad run of form that I had, what could be called my 'eureka' moment. At the time of my batting success I had been undertaking a job which entailed a great level of concentration, often for long periods of time. The start of this job came just before my 'luck' changed and ended a few weeks before it came to a halt with a run of low scores, mostly brought about by myself.
With this realisation on board I began to look again at my batting and in particular the mental approach. It soon became clear that the main reason I was getting out so early on was that I failed to retain any level of concentration on the job at hand and let my mind wander. However, whilst working on that project I had to get my head down and keep focused. Any mistake would prove costly, much as it does on the cricket pitch.
I now make sure that I try to do some concentration work and just keep my brain stimulated. Though I haven't reached the heady heights of my previous purple patch I no longer give my wicket away cheaply and hardly ever get out due to a lack of concentration, as was so often the case before.
It would be fair to say, "How can this help me?" but I think it only goes to show how much of an impact some kind of mental preparation can have on your game. It's something that is much overlooked at club level and is left to the individual to work on. All I have to say is, try it, you never know what may make a difference!
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