Why getting dropped will make you a better cricketer | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Why getting dropped will make you a better cricketer

It could be going from representative level back to grade cricket or simply being selected for the 2nd XI. For some players getting dropped is a cricketing disaster. It's a dramatic demonstration that they are not up to the task.

They steel themselves to get straight back in the team and end up trying so hard their performance and confidence drops even further. But it doesn't have to be like that. When you deal with it in the right way, getting dropped can end up making you a better player.

Even the greats have been dropped at some point. What marked them out was the way they bounced back.

How dropping a level can boost your confidence

Playing against weaker opposition gives you more room to breathe.

Mistakes that would be punished by better players are missed. You can find an average game turning into a good one. Once you are feeling good about yourself, the good performances come more easily and before you know it your stats are making a stir in selection meetings.

How to bounce back from getting dropped

But getting dropped and getting back into the team needs some work on your part. Fortunately it's a simple three step process:

  1. Find out why you were dropped. You can't begin to fight back until you know exactly why you were dropped. Ask the captain, coach or selectors their reasons. Perhaps they feel you are out of form or maybe they just wanted to make a tactical change.
  2. Ask what you need to do to get back in the team. If it's a form problem you may be told all you need to do is score runs and take wickets. A tactical change can also be overcome by weight of numbers, although you may have to bide your time. Don't guess; make sure you are set a realistic goal from those who decide.
  3. Take advantage of the situation. The final step is to make the most of your chance. You can have a lot of fun plundering players a step below your normal standard, but they won't have runs and wickets to you on a plate. Look to put in as good a performance as you always do and never back off the gas if you are serious about getting back up a level.

How playing a lower level can improve your game

It's not just about getting form back though. You chance at a lower grade or standard can also teach you some things about your game.

Players will look to you as an experienced or even star player; a responsibility that, if you allow it, will make you better. It's all about focus. If you see the extra responsibility as pressure you may crack. If you see it as a way to get focused on your goal you will be able to stay in the moment with greater consistency.

And that's the most important part of getting dropped. It's a chance to take responsibility, show your character and face the problem head on.

If you plan to be a decent player, it's the only way to deal with it.

image credit: Gone-Walkabout

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All true. I was dropped this season after a run of bad form with the bat and a number of silly losses in concentration at the wicket left me without any confidence at the crease. After three games and really focusing on my batting ending up scoring a 100 not out. the rest of the season felt easy after that.
I also think players should see this as an opportunity to improve the standard of the team below and to bring on the younger players in the team below. If only by bringing a higher intensity to the game and try to demonstrate what other players need to do to bridge the gap between the two teams.

Great advice Keith. So you made it back then?

Nice article as its what you do with what happens is most important. In India most of the junior domestic cricket is daunting because there are plenty of overage players, underprepared wickets, long train journeys, exhausting preparatory state camps in the heat and humidity before a major tournament and starchy food at match venues which taste like crap. An opening batsman's job is the riskiest in these conditions as wickets suck with uneven bounce ( the administration does not care and just needs to conduct tournaments) . Bowlers who get wickets on these bad wickets are pushed to the next level only to fail. And the middle order batsmen who are the ones who make some runs also get more opportunities. Some players are pushed by associations and given more opportunities irrespective of talent. Umpires at junior levels are also pretty average and batsmen rarely get the benefit of the doubt. Whoever says that the game is loaded in favor of batsmen has not played enough junior cricket in India. How does it work in England ? Surely cannot be as erratic as India as there are too many players and states !

Lets say there is a 5 game tournament. A good batsman gets two unplayable balls on underprepared wickets and gets out in the couple of games, and gets a bad decision in one, and is dropped for the next couple of games. The only way is to keep going and not let these things get you down. Some balls are unplayable and bowlers get lucky at times. So it may not be a mistake made by the batsman and he has just trust himself and keep going without being dejected. This is a game where other people judge you and they could wrong many times. So think logically and keep going is my advice. The score sheet does not tell you the story of how many lives a batsman got or that the wicket was underprepared and unplayable in the first hour or the umpiring was crap. Especially when there are no TV crews. Chance is a big factor in this game more so at the junior levels. It is more a game of failure than success.

Hi David, Yes I did and it turn a disapointing season into a really possitive one. Looking forward to indoor cricket and then Winter training.