Stop Insane Mistakes With Sane Post-Game Reviews | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Stop Insane Mistakes With Sane Post-Game Reviews

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Yet how many times after a game have we "reviewed" performance with a bunch of fleeting clichés about bowling better, taking our catches and taking responsibility as a batting unit?

How many times do we actually do something about this complaint other than hope things will change next time?

In my experience, that's rare. We think we are simply out of form and having a net will help the magic fairy sprinkle us again with the sparkling form dust.

But if you really want to stop the insanity, you need a good review after every game.

Reviews don't need flipboards

Of course, the classic image of a post-game review is a team, after getting thumped, are locked in the changing room by an angry captain (or coach) and made to under a death by flipboard rant.

That's not a review, that's someone letting off steam.

A good review doesn't need to be after a loss. It doesn't need hours of discussion and spreadsheets of data. It can be done in a few minutes and - more importantly - has some action to take away that will help in the next game.

Makr Garaway uses a very simple template of "Stop Start, Continue" to bring ideas to the fore quickly. I like that method because it can be applied at any level.

An example of a sane post-match meeting

So let's say your team have just been thrashed, and you are in charge of reducing the chances of it happening in the next game.

So you call the guys together while it is still raw. However the goal here you start to pull out actions to take into training and tactics for the next game.

Maybe a batsman wants to work on something technical (a "start" action). Make an action to cover it off in nets. Not just for one week though, give it three at least. And really make an effort to make the difference.

But mainly, it's not going to be technical changes, it's going to be about attitudes. For example, perhaps the side crumbled under the pressure of an attacking batsman. The "Stop" would be reacting differently under pressure to when you are on top. The action to take is to spend a number of practice sessions adding pressure to nets.

The take-home point here is that if discussion is vital, it's actions that make the difference. Do something with the outcome of the meeting or it's just hot air.

Remember to sing when you're winning

The other big mistake about reviews is that they are only undertaken in extreme losses. The theory goes that when everything is going according to plan there is no need to rock the boat. Just carry on doing what you are doing. You only need to review things when the plans are failing.

Of course, this is nonsense.

It's even more important to "stop, start, continue" review when things are going well because,

  1. It allows you to keep improving
  2. It allows you to prevent a turnaround of form before it happens

So review things after the game, or before a training session, or both no matter what the result.

Make is short, efficient, friendly and - most importantly - sane.

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Could not agree more David. How often have I watched lengthy reviews when a team has lost compared to a quick well done when they win.
Reviews should have a purpose with an AP at the end for everyone to buy into and take away.
I do not believe that you have to review after every match or session as it reduces the importance. A very quick discussion can be just as good.

As with practice everything must have a purpose as with the review and learn something from it

Yes, there are levels of review and the good coach or captain can quickly get a feel for what is required. Perhaps it's a quick "lets work on our strike rotation at training", perhaps it's a longer and more detailed analysis. There are no rules apart from "reviews work so use them"!

I have taken over as snr coach/player(1st 1X) at a club in Australia which is in a semi professional competition and for many years the club has been down near the bottom in all 4 grades. Now i am confident under my leadership things will turn around through being positive all the time hard work and playing for the badge though i get the feeling the hard work and dedication the players at the moment are giving me is not enough. We are ticking the boxes of accountability towards training-working on our fielding-batting/bowling in the nets under match intensity but come game day its the same problem.... Their heads arnt in the game i feel and knowing whats expected in different match situations this i believe is a major factor in why for so many years the ladder positions for the club are where they are.... We got knocked over for 95 on the w/e off 67 overs on our pitch which is regarded as 1 of the better 1s in the competition i got 30 as an opener and no 4 bat got 40. Yes the team we played had a good attack pitch was good conditions were great for batting as our cap won the toss. Their plan was to bowl the 5th or 6th stump line to a 7/2 field and it worked though our bats (the middle order/ tail) couldnt handle the pressure and take risks like the leadership group has asked of them this season..... I need to involve our players into some type of self belief task/ mentle strength training so when the heat gets turned up we know how to cool the situation through our actions!!! Advice would be appreciated....

Yours in cricket
Mark brown!!