Do you have a cricket dream? Perhaps it is to play internationally or maybe its just to get more runs than last year in you club side.
One of the most effective ways of improving your motivation and focussing the mind on any task is by goal setting.
Cricket is no different. Goal setting is a powerful tool to becoming a better player.
It helped Richard Hadlee achieve the incredible double feat of 1179 runs and 117 wickets in county cricket in 1984.
While you may or may not have the talent of Hadlee, you can still use his techniques to improve your cricket skills, fitness and mental approach.
How to make goal setting work for you
Goal setting is a simple process but needs to be individual. You cant rely on other peoples goals so you must set your own. Ideally this is done between a cricketer and coach. There is a method making your goal setting work properly. To do this, all goals must meet certain criteria. Without these, your performance will not improve.
- Specific - All goals must have a specific target to aim at. A long term specific goal may be to get into the first team or score 800 runs in a season. A shorter term specific goal may be to get a certain number of runs in a game.
- Challenging - A goal cannot be too easy or difficult or you will soon lose interest. A good goal is something that can be achieved, but is difficult enough to motivate. It is a good idea to get someone else to help you set challenging goals as you can often under- or overestimate your own cricket ability.
- Measurable - To monitor your progress a target must measured regularly. You could set your target at a certain average, and you keep track throughout the season, constantly working out what figures you need to keep that average within target. Measurable goals can also be subjective. For example, improvement of bowling action bycoaches analysis.
- Self Controlled - Keep goals individual to you. Your goals should be achieved by you and not depend on anyone else for success. If you have to depend on others you may lose motivation if you think they are not pulling their weight.
- Time Related - Make sure your goal has an end point, or at least a review point where performance can be evaluated and the goal can be re-set if needed. Without this you may lose focus and energy.
- Flexible - No target should be set in stone. You may progress faster than you planned, or an injury may set you back. You should be prepared to alter your goals to keep them specific, challenging and realistic to you.
6 Steps to setting your cricket goals
Once you know the basic rules of setting goals you can go about setting your own. Here is how:
- Assessment - Begin by building a profile of you as a player. Identify the areas you are strong at and the areas you would like to improve. This should include not only your technical skills (like off break or cover drive) but also physical fitness and mental approach.
- Set a long term goal - Next you should work out an individual goal to work towards in the long term (like getting into the first team). This may be over a season or several seasons.
- Assess again - Once you have set your long term goal you should refer back to your assessment. Use it to create a second profile about someone who has achieved your goal. This is where you are aiming to get.
- Set your subgoals - Compare your profiles and identify the differences. You can easily see which areas need the most work and set a series of smaller goals under you long term goal. Note them all down.
- Set your training - You can now base your training plan around these goals.
- Monitor - You should constantly monitor the progress of all these goals. Write down your goal and subgoals and review them as often as you can, noting your progress in each area. This way you can scale down training in areas you are progressing fast or step up training in areas that are not working as well as planned.
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