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Analysis And Performance In Cricket

1085 words - 4 pages

Analysis and Performance in Cricket

Poor form can be defined as a decline in performance level which has
persisted over a reasonable period of time, possibly a couple of
weeks. Poor form is generally a temporary short-term problem, however,
if the issue is not addressed, performance may continue to
deteriorate, leading to the athlete becoming disillusioned and
distanced from the sport. Within the sporting community, there is a
well known saying; “form is temporary, class is permanent.” This
statement highlights the underlying assumption of most coaches, an
athlete’s skills and abilities do not fluctuate greatly, however,
performance levels may vary over time.

If a cricketer is suffering from poor form it is vital they identify
the underlying problem; whether it is psychological or down to other
factors. Other factors may include biomechanics or technique,
physiological conditioning, equipment or game strategy. A cricketer
who has a major flaw in his or her backswing may attribute the
resulting poor performance to ineffective concentration, whereas the
underlying problem is most likely to be biomechanical. It is important
to remember that one must not try to interpret all aspects of
performance from a psychological perspective.

The study of motor learning has shown that for complex motor patterns,
such as those required for batting, our neuromuscular system has a
memory. Once we learn a movement pattern, our neuromuscular system
"remembers" the sequence of muscle movement required to complete the
task. The problem is that our neuromuscular system will "remember" the
muscle patterns whether we have poor form or good form. By batting
with poor form the athlete is reinforcing the muscle memory patterns
for the poor form and thus it gets more difficult to change it in the
future. It is therefore vital that a problem such as a biomechanical
flaw in technique is recognised immediately and corrected.

In terms of using psychological skills and techniques to overcome poor
form, several key qualities can be identified which an athlete should
focus on. Commitment is one of these, essential to a cricketer’s
success; they need to be dedicated to continually raising performance
levels. Goal setting is a technique that can be used to break this
process down, for example, short term goals might focus on the next
couple of weeks. Long term goals should also be discussed, which may
span the entire season. As a coach, it is important to remember that
targets should be achievable, yet challenging.

To improve levels of confidence, an athlete might use imagery to help
focus the mind. Relating this to a cricket scenario, before walking to
the crease, a batsman might visualise a previous successful innings
and the feelings associated with this performance. In addition to
purely mentally...

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