Cricket is as much a game of concentration as it is of skills. If you are not quick on your feet and proactive in terms of your next step, there is little you can do to win the match. As a player, there are two types of concentration; internal and external that you need to tackle. The internal dimension of concentration refers to your thoughts and your ability to focus on your inner strengths and sensations. The external concentration, on the other hand, focuses on other players and events happening around you at a given time.
With the chaos on the field, it is not surprising that many players lose focus. However, there are some tried and tested tips you can use to concentrate on the game.
1. Integrating Mindfulness
Being aware of the present moment is one of the primary ways you can practice focus which means not thinking about the ball you missed or about the bad day you had earlier. If you are having trouble in being present, here’s an exercise which can help you:
Find a quiet spot and close your eyes. Then begin concentrating on your breathing pattern and notice your inhaling and exhaling without rushing. If your mind wanders off somewhere, slowly bring back your attention to your breathing. Continue doing this for 7 to 10 minutes and you’ll find yourself in a better headspace after you’re done.
2. Don’t Focus on the Outcome
Thinking about the outcome is going to make you anxious and honestly speaking, you will not be able to enjoy the game if you’re constantly worked up. A lot of top-class athletes think that dividing the game into mini-goals can make the game more easy-going. As long as you are thinking of the process, the outcome will take care of themselves.
3. Make sure you are getting the Required Sleep
You need to be well-rested for the game day. This means no staying up scrolling Instagram the night before or overthinking yourself to sleep. Great players are known for their discipline which includes having a consistent sleep schedule. Getting solid 8-hours of sleep will create the ideal condition for you to concentrate and change your cricket performance for the better.
4. Set a schedule of focus
When you are playing, it is not humanly possible to be 100% mindful the entire time. However, if you set a ‘focus’ schedule, it is all the concentration you require.
After you have delivered your move, allow your mind to wander off. Once it is time for your next move, switch on your focus mode. Switching on and off will allow your mind to relax and give it time to recharge while playing. This tactic applies to everyone, be it batsmen, bowlers, or fielders.
While you allow your mind some rest, make sure that it doesn’t wander too far off to return. The schedule is only meant to refresh you!
5. Don’t let external factors impact you
You’ll be surprised how bowlers and fielders, especially those who are close to the bat try to pass comments in an attempt to upset the batsmen, even on an international level. There aren’t many ways of dealing with this situation but avoiding eye contact and the comments usually work. As a player, you have to work really hard to make sure the comments don’t get under your skin and your focus remains intact.