It’s easier than ever to get yourself on the right path to success in cricket. It’s like a great magic trick, the magician has got everyone looking left and he is busy conducting the trick over to the right. Professional cricketers have worked out what it takes to be successful but coaches of young cricketers aren’t teaching them what those things are. It’s not on purpose, it’s because they just don’t know the full picture. Even some really high level coaches miss the important things to be successful.
I’m fascinated by the way coaches teach cricketers how to become better players by only talking about technique. Some coaches even suggest there is only one technique and all players should follow that technique. There are so many more factors to learn to make a successful cricketer. Looking back on my playing career with many different teams and coaches I am surprised I didn’t learn more about the really important parts of cricket like self image, self awareness and how the sub conscious mind works. Even when I spoke to psychologists they didn’t understand how to connect the mind with Cricket. Then there is all the other parts that never get talked about like fitting into a team, anxiety, fear of failure, pressure, over confidence, handling media and being criticised by the public. It’s a lot to take on by yourself especially if you are only a young player.
I played with many teams including Australian Under 19s, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder and Canterbury (New Zealand domestic team)and had access to high performance coaching for 15 years and 80 percent of the conversations were about technique, 19 percent were about strategy and 1 percent were about getting the mind right to perform.
The reason for this is probably because coaches don’t understand how to coach mindset related things. I’ve heard great coaches say cricketers either have it or they don’t and it can’t be coached. But that is not true, it can be coached and practiced. You see and hear it all the time from the big players and coaches that Cricket is 90% mental and 10% physical but there is no information to follow that up on how to improve that. Nor does our training schedule back that up. So coaches keep on talking about the things they know which is technique and often making up new fancy drills and ideas to over complicate the whole batting process.
Mindset is a huge part of the game and I believe if you have the right mindset and understanding of your mindset plus an extremely good understanding of the strategies you will need for all types of situations you can be quite successful right now with whatever technique you have.
The great thing about having your mindset and strategy in place is that you quickly find out what technical things you could change to make the biggest difference to your game or make know how to make what you’ve got work. Every single player who has played international cricket has a different technique. You may have many technical flaws according to the old school theories of cricket coaching but maybe only changing one of them is really going to make all the difference. It makes sense then not to waste time and effort changing things that don’t really matter to your game.
If you understand this then it means that the way you train would change, the way you would use a coach would change. Rather than spending all your time performing your skill for your coach to critique you, you would split that time into talking about your mindset, strategy and what techniques could be used to achieve the strategies you have.
This style of coaching is called performance based coaching. Basing your coaching on being able to get the player to perform as opposed to getting the player to be technically sound.
It becomes extremely important who you use as a coach and mentor. If they only ever talk about technique you are definitely missing two big parts to being successful. Your mentor needs to understand what you’re going through and how to get you to your goals. For this to happen you need to have a great relationship with your coach so they are able to understand what’s happening in your life.
To be successful you need to be surrounded by the right people along your journey. Professional sport is definitely a roller coaster ride which can be less scary with the right guidance at the right time. We are moving into a digital world and it’s great to be able to access coaches all over the world with a simple click of the button. It’s extremely wise to use this to your advantage and get access to the worlds best.
There are so many parts of a cricketers game that they are able to learn off a phone or laptop and practice in the comfort of their own home and smart cricketers are taking advantage of that.
We have created SPARTAN ONLINE ACADEMY which is an online platform that will help cricketers achieve their goals and have access to mentors that are able to help them through whatever the cricketer is going through. Being surrounded by likeminded cricketers who can share their thoughts and emotions is a fantastic way for cricketers to feel comfortable and get the best out of themselves. Cricketers will also get real time strategies, techniques and mindset tips as the game changes and evolves. The game has changed rapidly over the last 5 years and it’s important to stay up to date with what’s best.
For more information and to reserve your spot please contact us on our social media and leave comments.
By Simon Keen
Spartan Cricket Club