Useful coaching tips from ex-Canada all-rounder, Karun Jethi
Almost every one understands the importance of concentration, but ignores the concept of it. When anyone starts playing cricket they are told about the importance of concentration because it’s the key for success of any batsmen, bowler or fielder. There have always been plenty of emphasis on this aspect of the game. You’ll often hear a commentator say that a lapse in concentration cost the batsman his wicket, or a coach telling his players to concentrate hard whenever they are struggling.
“Concentration” WHAT EXACTLY IS IT ?
In one of my visit to India to play cricket, I had an interactive session with one of the ex Indian test cricketers, who defined concentration to me in one small sentence. He said that concentration is simply remaining in the present. The longer you can remain in the present, the greater your concentration will be. At that time it sounded easy to me but later I realized that its not that easy. While applying this theory during practice or a match I realized that our mind has the habit of wandering off on its own at the first available moment. Even in the middle of an important match, an important knock or bowling a crucial over, our mind will wander off somewhere else on its own. Usually our mind travels back to past or to future. Past or future should not have any bearing on the ball you’re going to bowl or play next. What matters the most is to worry about one particular delivery while batting or bowling. Remaining in the present is the only way to concentrate.
The moment the bowler starts his run-up a batsmen should start concentrating and the concentration has to be at its peak from the time of delivery till the ball hits the bat. For a bowler, concentration should start when you are on your way back to your run up and and should be at its peak when you are a step or two away from the bowling crease. For fielders it should at its peak untill the ball is dead.
A WAY TO GET BETTER:
Concentrating for a few minutes at a time is quite difficult, never mind a whole game. A good way to improve your is to switch off after every delivery and then switch on before the next. When you switch off it allows the mind to wander off for few seconds before getting it back on track. This is not only for batting and bowling, fielders should do it too. You should relax before starting to concentrate again.
While in the nets, applying this to your game can be useful in improving concentration. The main reason is that you are concentrating ball after ball with very little time in between (as there are usually about three to five bowlers at all times).
While allowing your mind to wander off and relax, one still needs to ensure that it doesn’t drift too far away. For example, a captain can not switch off for even a split second as the whole game might get turned upside down. A fielder should always look at the captain and the bowler for any adjustments before starting to concentrate again. A batsman should refresh his options to score runs before starting to concentrate again. A bowler while walking back to his run up should refresh his field and bowling plan according to the batsmen and the situation.
A loss of concentration can occur at any point of the game. Sometimes it’s because of lack of confidence or sometimes because of over confidence. The most common time when one is bound to lose the concentration is, during middle of the game when the fatigue factor kicks in. Fitness is also a way to improve you concentration but only if one trains according to the sport one’s playing. Diffrent sports require different level of concentration and fitness.
When I was in police foundations, I came across a phrase called “tunnel vision” which means, your concentration is locked on one particular thing and you can not observe or see anything other than that. Adding that to cricket is also a great asset.
In my days with the team CC organized a mental training session with some expert. To me it was pointless and a waste of money as half of the team never showed up and the half that did was exhausted after a four hour long intense fitness session so they were sleepy. Any session that’s arranged should be arranged with keeping reality in mind not formality. I would rather have that money given to players because at the end they are the one sacrificing everything in their life.
I would like to tell my teammates something.
Guys every cricketers dream is to play cricket for their country and represent it at the highest level which is world cup. I am unable to achieve that because of not my performance, but because of political reasons.
SO my fellow team mate, my brothers please wake up because they did this to me today, TOMORROW IT COULD BE YOU. STAND FOR YOUR RIGHTS BECAUSE YOU ARE THE ONE WHO TRAIN HARD, YOU ARE THE ONE WHO LEAVE YOUR FAMILY, STUDY, WORK ETC BEHIND TO TRAIN AND TO GO ON TOURS, WHILE THERE ARE PEOPLE SITTING AT TOP POSITIONS AND ENJOYING THE OUT COME OF YOUR HARD WORK.
At the end guys work hard in INDIA and make us all proud, because if I can not be a part of the team at least I can proudly say I ONCE WAS.