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Thread: Mental Side of Cricket

  1. #1
    International Captain Pup Clarke's Avatar
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    Mental Side of Cricket

    This may be a tough question to answer but have a look...

    I'm a leg spin bowler who excels at net practise as I don't feel pressure bowlingat some very good players who I can regulary dismiss.

    I'm usually selected for matches on the back of my net performances but haven't really excelled for the past 2-3 seasons (last year was ok).

    This is mainly to do with my mindset and confidence in a match situation as I've not really bowled a huge number of overs consecutively (usually 2-3 then out the attack).

    I keep doubting myself and I can never relax when bowling or when told to warm up, questions run through my head like am I going to drop one short or what happens if I bowl a bad delivery and as a consequence my action goes to pieces.

    I like to think I have decent potential as a leggie if these problems could be resolved and it's really affecting my enjoyment of the game and it's very frustrating to see confident cricketers who express themselves ie Andrew Flintoff and I'm thinking this could be me.

    Difficult question to answer i know but any tips, methods of getting round this problem so I can enjoy my cricket again?
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  2. #2
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    all i can say is live in the moment, and try not to think about all these what if's. it might help if you have a song that you can sing in your head that can take your mind off of the negatives.

    when i bowl, the only thing i think about is getting the ball in the right areas - i don't think about what will happen if i bowl a half tracker or a full toss as i'm running up.

    i remember the first time i went in to bat in a match, i said to myself as i was walking to the middle - don't get bowled first ball, and what happened: I got bowled first ball. Since then, I don't think about anything negative like that, instead i set small goals for myself and focus on that (ie. try to play straight early on, let's just get bat on ball, see off this bowler, etc.). It's really helped me a lot.

    you just have to stop worrying and things should start to come together.

  3. #3
    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    I have exactly the same problem in my bowling. I can bowl fine in the nets, dismiss good players and generally enjoy myself, but as soon as it comes into a match situation, my bowling falls to pieces and I just bowl ****.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Only thing i think about when bowling is making sure i'm looking at the place where i want it to pitch, go through phases where i'm concentrating solely on my run-up because it feels completely wrong for whatever reason but soon forget about that.

    With batting, because of my low skill level, first thought is just to make sure i get bat to ball and defend well. If it's straight i'll defend, if it's wide i'll probably have a go. Always try and switch off between balls by standing up and moving away from the wicket for 10 seconds or so, better off making the bowler wait than find yourself waiting for the bowler and give yourself the chance to overthink.
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Toughest thing. I could never handle pressure or high expectation very well.

    Its a special player that when expected to perform at a high level actually thrives on it.
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    Cricket Spectator spunbowler's Avatar
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    you need to start to build your confidence with the ball, there are a number of ways to do this, firstly, economy builds confidence as a slow bowler, try bowling seam up for your first over, trying to get a maiden, then slip in the odd leggie, it may get you a wicket, as confidence builds bowl more leggies, or the other way is to get the captain to bring you on in easieish circumstances, ie the other team playing for a draw or when the rabbits are in thus building confidence that way, there are no magic answers to this question, believe you me there are more talented cricketers out there than the likes of paul collingwood, but they fall down when it comes to mental capacity, so you aint alone
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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    I think you should try to concentrate on bowling to a plan for a batsman and working him out rather than worrying about where it's going to land. Try to occupy your mind with other things. I found targeting a batsman from the other side an easy way to focus. But then I'm a seamer so it's probably a bit easier. I used to pick a player before the match (or maybe a couple) that were their better batsmen and try to get them when they were out there. Rep players etc etc work well. I think making the focus a good performance on your behalf and a poor one from the batsman is a good approach. Work out what you want to do, land the ball where you want to, and then see what happens. Not rushing is very important. When you're bowling you're in control.

    When are you being bowled in the innings just out of interest? And are you persisted with or is it just 2-3 overs? Not many bowlers can do a great deal with 2-3 overs to play with. Many, many captains at club level are absolutely hopeless at managing their spinners and either bring them on to bowl with 10 runs to get or give them too few overs to settle in to a rhythm.
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  8. #8
    International Captain Pup Clarke's Avatar
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    If it's a Twenty20 game then usually between say the 12th and 14th over with all the field back on the boundary, if it's 50 over it's usually much later on in the innings as our wickets assist the seamers so they usually get more overs, my high economy rate really doesn't help matters as well.

    The last few matches I've really just tried to just get through my overs without thinking really thinking too much about plans etc.

  9. #9
    International Captain Pup Clarke's Avatar
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    Will really try to treat tonight's nets as like a match situation.

  10. #10
    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    One thing I'd do is ask your coach or a teammate whose opinion you respect, whether they see anything different in your action between nets and game day. And if there is any difference between body language.

    Treating the nets as a game day can be good. Tell the batsman when they go in to bat where you are setting your field, where there are runs to be had, and where they can't score. Put pressure on yourself to bowl where you want to, and to where your protection is.

    Another thing is to keep a checklist of things that you know are vital to doing well. For me, if I'm bowling poorly, I have a list of things I work through.
    * Is my front arm strong? If so, then...
    * Are my feet in alignment? If so then...
    * Is my back leg coming through in follow through? If so, then...
    * Is my arm over the perpendicular?

    To be honest, I've never got to the fourth one, as the first three are the essentials to me bowling well.

  11. #11
    International Captain Pup Clarke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    One thing I'd do is ask your coach or a teammate whose opinion you respect, whether they see anything different in your action between nets and game day. And if there is any difference between body language.
    Oh I know the difference in my action in nets and in matches.

    Cos of my doubts I'm not really "bowling" the ball or have any sort of momentum at the crease, I've got a low arm action like Stuart MacGill and it's very important that I drive through the crease with my back leg.

    I've also noticed the pace I bowl in matches is considerably slower than in the nets, I imagine their's some sort of relation form the above to this?

  12. #12
    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Yeah, because it's only your arm that's bowling the ball. Your freezing up, and all worried about what is happening from the elbow down, but if the rest of your body doesn't help the ball, then what happens from the wrist and onwards is irrelevant, you're already paddling upstream.

  13. #13
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    Have been bogus mentally in match situations for 90% of the cricket I've played. Got over it when I looked back after each match, looking at the things I wished I did. And now I make sure I do them. Being extremely comfortable with your cricketing self definately helps, as basic as that sounds. I know my bowling action inside out and limitations with the bat. If I stick to them and concentrate hard, that's the best I can do. And in the end, it's a game, so enjoy it. Use the gifts you've been given the best you can.
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  14. #14
    Cricketer Of The Year Kweek's Avatar
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    good thread...

    my main problem is, im absolute crap in nets when bowling, and I never get selected out of net performances, and the only reason I got into the 2nd XI of my last club was because my coach in the U18s who played 2nd XI at the time saw a whole diffrent bowler in games, I'm very confident when it comes to my bowling in games, and have good control and bowl
    well(most of the times)
    now at my new club I have the same problem, I got in the 1st XI on reputation, but in nets I sucked...I was unlucky not to bowl in the first two games, and then in nets I was woeful....
    which got me dropped to the 2nd XI and there we played turf (which I didn't know so without spikes) and the pitch was sooo slippery! so i was a ballarina who got hit for 22 of 3 overs...

    it sucks....and I don't know what makes my nets so rubbish...I try to create match situation or treat it as a game...won't do it...

    battingwise it doesn't matter to me
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