“All that stress, pressure and pain of a bad net has gone.”
Have you ever walked out of nets feeling worse than when you walked in?
I'm sure you have, because everyone has. I did for many years too. I would wonder about the point of practice: Why bother when you end up worse than when you started?
I see it in others too. The bowler who drops a few short and curses. The batsman who mistimes a couple and slaps his pad in self-flagellation. The slump in shoulders. The massive heave at every ball because you have had enough of it all.
The not turning up at all.
Want to know how to eliminate that totally?
Want 100% of your nets to fill you with joy and enthusiasm?
Not only is it possible but you can do it instantly. From your next session!
No, it's not magic talent dust (if I had that I would be handing it out liberally already to every West member). It's a simple change of focus.
Here's an example.
You come to nets and it's your turn to bat. You have not had a net for a while so you are a bit nervous and rusty. The lads are great, but you know you will get the treatment if you do badly in there. Pressure.
Then you realise something. You are not going in to prove your mettle and avoid banter. You are going in with a specific focus. You want to make sure your feet are moving and you are getting your head in the right place. You wouldn't mind if you timed every shot, but that's not what this session is about. It's about making sure the basics are in place so your timing can come back.
Suddenly that play and miss is grist for the mill. Was it a good ball or was it slow footwork? If it was your feet, refocus on getting going. Try again. And again.
Instantly, that mistimed drive is just a matter of adjusting your downswing. Your head, hands and feet are lined up right. You just need a few more balls to get the timing in place. It's not evidence that you have lost the ability to drive after all.
You stop worrying about mistakes. You realise mistakes are good because they allow you to hone in on something. They let you be better prepared for the season.
All that stress, pressure and pain of a bad net has gone.
You're learning from everything; mistakes and success. You walk away from the net happy that things are progressing.
You will know when this is working because you begin to realise too much success is bad. It means things are too easy. You need to make it harder or you will not be ready for the tough challenge of batting against a new ball in early May on a damp pitch. (Or bowling with an old ball on a road in June against a pro on 70 not out.)
You can use this mindset.
You could be a first team superstar or a third team occasional. You could be 12 years old or 41 years old. You could be in form or out of nick. It makes no difference, everything is better if you use this focus.
So, set your mind to improve, forget the ego and get on with getting better. See you at nets!
Updated 07:06 - 1 Feb 2017 by David Hinchliffe