The Dhoni-Fletcher Guide to Getting Out of a Slump | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The Dhoni-Fletcher Guide to Getting Out of a Slump

Does it sometimes feel like you are cursed to make no progess with your cricket?

Like India's post-2011 World Cup slump of Test hammerings and World Twenty20 failure you can feel that - despite all your hard work - you have lost your ability.

You are stuck in a rut and it can feel like a disaster.

That feeling you had when you were a master of the game has gone. Your confidence is shot which puts you into a spiral of worse play and no idea how to get out it.

And as for progress, well, you can't even tred water, let alone improve.

Slump city, population: you

But as the India team have demonstrated, occasionally you get rusty and lose your skills.

Everyone hits a slump.

Everyone questions whether this unforgiving period is a glitch or time to move on to something else. Even Tendulkar's place has been questioned over the years as pundits decide he has 'lost it', while up and coming players are labelled as not having enough talent.

If you take this feeling at face value you start believing that you have lost your skills (or you never had them).

Lucky for India, the coach Duncan Fletcher and the Captain MS Dhoni are more experienced and know how to break out of a slump.

How do you learn from this experience at the top level to bring it into your own game?

Life aint linear

Sometimes we assume that life should be simple, we progress slowly forward from junior levels through to our natural highest level. For some that is playing for India.

In fact, cricket skills fluctuate far more than this.

Cricket is so much a game of the mind that luck, apathy and just darn good play from your opposition can send you on a spiral of negative thoughts.

We all know that if you think something is true for long enough, you make it true; the boffins call it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But when you know that life is not as simple as astraight line of progress you can take action to control it.

Which is what I am sure Fletcher worked on with India.

How to beat the slump

The first step is to accept that times happen when you are not playing your best cricket. Everyone from the 10 year old beginner to Tendulkar himself has forgettable moments.

It doesn't make you a bad player.

When you feel that form frustration, take a step back.

Start doing practice that you enjoy. That could be hitting the gym hard, or playing pick up games. It might be taking some time off altogether (as long as it is something that helps you relax and reset).

Being in a slump is a negative cycle, so you need to break from habits for a while.

A word of warning though; this doesn't always work first time.

India have made an attempt to break the slump after each series or tournament. It doesn't work first time every time.

But with a strong captain like Dhoni, India will push through the fear and keep trying.

And so should you.

When you return to "normal practice" (and by that I mean mindful work that is specific to your needs) you may get frustrated by the slowness of your gains.

Stay positive, build momentum and ride your luck when it comes (the good luck always comes back eventully)

No slump lasts forever unless you let it.

With strong-willed characters at the helm of India, that is not going to happen.

So learn from this, give yourself a break and accept your journey sometimes has to go back before it can go forward.

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I know this cooment has nothing to do with the article but just last week we saw the Australian's show us how not to chase a big total and I was wondering if you were in the same situation as them what would you have done to aid your team to victory?

Practicing hard and making strategy for each player and team can be important.
Good players should be motivated and inspired. With cricket talent, physical built up, flexibility and focus on game is important.