Cricket Coaching Batting Tips: Mental Toughness / Problem With Concentration

by Hasnain Khalid

Hashim Amla: The Master Of Managing His Focus

Hi Coach! I am Hasnain Khalid, I wanted to ask a question, when I bat I am struggling to concentrate on the ball, what do you advise? Can you give me some tips on playing front foot shots?

Hi Hasnain, when a batter struggles with his concentration it effects his judgement of length which then effects his shot selection. When the brain doesn’t have a clear reading of where the ball is going to land it makes it difficult for it to know which shot to choose for the delivery.

What to do: Practice consciously watching the ball closely.

Drill 1. Stance and head position. Settle into your stance, tilt your chin down slightly, keep you head absolutley still as the bowler runs up. You are making sure your eyes are still and giving the brain accurate information to judge the length of the ball.

Drill 2. Watch the ball in the bowlers hand when he runs up, make sure you track it all the way, zooming from a soft focus into a tight focus as the bowlers enters the crease.

Drill 3. Do some throw downs with a partner or coach on front foot shots, play the shot or leave the ball if its wide, then walk up the wicket and touch the spot with your bat where the ball bounced. Ask your partner if you are accurate in your judgement of where the ball bounced. Work on refining your concentration.

Drill 4. Practice managing your focus at the crease. Run through your normal pre – shot routine, step back from the crease, breathe easy between balls, calm and smooth. Look off into space to rest the mind, relax the body, let go of the tension in the muscles, shrug your shoulders to tense and release this. Step back into the crease and re-set your focus. Ready and intent, switching your attention and intention back on. Switch off between balls.

Do this ball after ball to manage your mental energy at the crease.

You’ll find your shot selection for front foot shots is improved by practicing these drills. Advice on shot selection and batting in general is found on the cricket batting tips page.

Good Skills, Coach

Richard Pybus

About Richard Pybus

I'm Richard Pybus, I've coached Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middlesex, Titans and the Cape Cobras in South Africa and the goal of this site is to help you to play winning cricket.