Cutting edge cricket by Frank S Pyke; Ken Davis

By Frank S Pyke; Ken Davis

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Sport psychology graduate, teacher, and head coach at the University Cricket Club in Western Australia, Martin Tobin, is one such professional. Tobin has produced an impressive nine-session format of activities that teach effective mind control in cricket. Tobin covers the following topics, many of which have been outlined previously: • • • • • • • • • Setting goals for training Starting an innings Shadow batting, which involves practicing the skill without a ball The art of watching the ball Batting pre-delivery routine Spin bowling focus Cricket attitude moments such as playing and missing and being dropped from the team Thought control Dealing with errors These practical sessions provide the opportunity to practice the mental skills of goal setting, imagery (visualisation), concentration, self-confidence and positive self-talk.

3 Net training with cones in position to simulate the position of fielders. Cones of one colour (yellow) indicate close fielders, and those of another colour (orange) indicate fielders deeper than 30 metres from the batter. 4 for an example of using a hockey stick to refine eye– hand coordination in cricket): I played a lot of tennis till I was about 16 years of age. With hours of practice and exploration of new skills, I developed a lot of touch which I think transferred to my batting. Also, I did a lot of bouncing the ball off a hockey stick, and I think that helped in development of my eye–hand coordination in cricket.

On some occasions batters can ply their craft for only one delivery, and then be left to watch the remainder of the day from the stands. A batting error can produce the most severe of outcomes; it is akin to a soccer player being sent off the field straight after the kick-off. Of course, in cricket, batting errors do not always result in dismissals, but because they can, batters are under extreme pressure. The will to survive often dominates the desire to score, which can result in very slow play.

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