For all batsmen, “Consistency is the key“. But every cricketer in their career experiences a phase when they are out of form.
Nothing seems to go right, one faulty piece of footwork, slight lapse in concentration or misjudgment and you lose your wicket.
As England men’s team psychologist between 1997 and 2014, Steve Bull says, “One mistake. The margin is so ridiculously small, and the consequences of a mistake are so huge. The knock-on effect is that after two or three low scores, the rest of the mechanisms kick in and the confidence starts to go.”
In a recent interview with Betway, Windies legend Shiv Chanderpaul opens up about an element of luck in cricket and how to get back in form. “These days bowlers study you more – it’s not that easy. Bowlers can tell when you’re struggling“, says Chanderpaul.
Chanderpaul represented Windies from 1994 to 2015. In his international career of 21 years, he played 164 Tests, 268 ODIs and 22 T20s scoring more than a total of 20,000 runs, including 41 centuries.
“In cricket, you can get that piece of bad luck, and that hard work comes to nothing. Conversely, if you’re in bad form and get dropped at second slip, then things go your way and you score a hundred: bingo. If that catch had gone to hand, that’s another failure.“, Shiv adds.
To fight those dark times, his brilliant – “Control the Controllables“.
Shiv says, “When a player is worried about whether they are going to get picked or not, they have no control. You’ve got to come to the next session completely refreshed and start again”.
Steve Bull completely agrees and encourages players just to relax – “sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break and switch off“.
Every player has a different way of getting back his confidence. For Chanderpaul, it was practicing in nets, “If I was struggling, I would be in the nets, hitting some balls. If I don’t feel good about it, I’ll do the work until I start feeling good.”, he says.
Every player takes a different approach, but the key is to focus on things that you have control over, so “Control the Controllables” is the ultimate mantra.