I have a bit of a problem.
I am in my early 30s and play for a team that runs 3 league sides. I rejoined them 2 seasons ago after a 5-6 year break from league cricket.
Over the last couple of years, I have generally played in the 1st team (about 90% of my league games). I have had a few good scores for the 1sts in those 2 years, but my form has generally - to put it mildly - been patchy (i.e. poor). However, throughout that time my Sunday friendly form has been exceptional. Generally the standard on Sundays is lower, but sometimes the attacks are decent and I will face bowlers at least as good as anything I come up against on a Saturday. On other occasions, I have actually faced some of the same guys who seem to give me problems on a Saturday... only to smash them apart when I come up against them on a Sunday.
After a terrible start to my league season this year, I was dropped to the 2nds for this weekend just gone. To give some historical context, I have generally played my whole league cricket life (prior to my 5-6 year break AND since) at a higher standard than our 2nd team's current league, and generally had a fair bit of success. In other words, I should have no problems scoring runs for our 2nds.
As it was, I was all over the shop. An absolute bag of nerves, I looked poor and was out for 5. On Sunday, I captained our Sunday XI. The opposition bowling attack was as good - if not better - than the attack I faced on Saturday, and it was on exactly the same pitch as I batted on on the Saturday.
I was fluent and confident. I drove well, cut well and my shot selection was good. I only ended up with 24, but I felt a lot better and was caught on the boundary attempting to push the score on.
I'm slightly concerned that I get overly affected by a lot of the chirping and sledging on Saturdays (the oppo on Sat were VERY gobby) and I definitely feel a different mindset. Any suggestions on how I can get over my league nerves? Any suggestions as to how to shut out the opposition sledging?
Has anyone had the same problem as me, and how did you overcome it?