Breathe deep. Relax. Allow the mind to clear of all the noise and fully realise that the best part of competitive sport is about to begin. Finals.
For those fortunate enough to be involved, this time arrived now in March, was likely to be an inner driving force way back in June. If you are reading this and actively involved, congratulations. Now the true fun and excitement for your whole team, club, friends, family and fans properly begins.
The ultimate conclusion to a season where every ball and stroke is magnified in study and amplified in acknowledgement or criticism. Status within the game is elevated, shredded or carries lingering doubt.
Nonetheless it is still just a game of cricket overall. If your team has home ground advantage, the benefit of being familiar in surroundings. Just a different time of year against better opposition. A situation where the true competitive beast desires to thrive, conquer and sup from the vessel of victory.
A few fundamentals to assist in achieving clarity within yourself and with the team that revolve around the following:
- Get involved and find a way to stay in the game
- When starting defence is the basis of attack
- It takes more than one to assert the advantage
To elaborate on each of these:
1. Stay in the game
Within our known skill, ability and knowledge is the requirement to “stay in the game” .By finding a way to stay in, work through the early phases creates the opportunity to influence. This guiding principle, particularly in run chases, was adhered to by Mike Hussey and Michael Bevan to ensure that they could influence the outcome.
2. Defence is the basis of attack
Whether batting or bowling, we all have the ability to simplify how we begin.
- If batting, get right in behind the ball, be still & watchful, play or leave as required. Keep it simple and within your ability. (May be helpful to reflect upon “Starting an Innings“).
- If bowling, be straight & full either at the off stump or fourth stump line. Rehearse before you start and visualise the delivery.
Start with this plan & process, build confidence from applying defence, absorb the pressure & build the “basis of attack”.
3. More than one
Once involved, established, and aware of the game situation – it takes “more than one” to assert the advantage. Find a willing partner from the circumstance and and build a position together.
If of value, please download a copy of a screen that can be adjusted to the needed message accordingly.
Finals Essential Elements – PowerPoint version
Finals Essential Elements – PDF version
Otherwise, sleep well, dream of goodness and embrace the wonderfulness of finals ahead this weekend.