How to Win the Moments that Matter
Graham Winter, Performance Psychologist
Want Something Special?
When players discuss matches the conversation inevitably turns to the key moments. The quick wicket, dropped catch or brilliant run out that turned the game.
Success in cricket, as in life, is about bringing our best to the moments that matter.
How do we step up when the opportunity is there to do something special, and not be left feeling disappointed?
Know the Moments that Matter
Three types of moments are the key to playing Mindful Cricket:
Starting in important matches and situations
High stakes moments where the game is on the line
Tipping points where the momentum is yours to grab or lose
Let’s explore four keys to mastering those moments so you get more fun and more success.
Four Tips to Master those BIG Moments
TIP 1. Be Honest with Yourself
Few people are naturally equipped to land their best performances when it counts. They learn to do it, and that means being open and vulnerable enough to find the gap between where they are and the next level. Try this question … and get a critical friend to help:
What’s your track record in (a) Starting in important matches (b) Delivering in the high stakes moments (c) Grabbing the momentum?
Where’s the next level for you? Do you want to really thrive in the big moments ? Is there a big opportunity to take your mindset to that next level and be your absolute best on those big moments?
TIP 2. Clear Your Mind
Players who thrive in the moments that matter inevitably bring the clear mind that comes from a Game Mindset.
Composed …. not … Reactive
On Task … not … Distracted
Simple … not … Complicated
Adapting … not … Fixed
Ironically, the players who do best in big moments, don’t treat them like big moments, but rather they treat them as challenges to really double down on the task in a balanced and simple way.
Mindful Cricket puts a premium on practices which clear the mind, and build the composure and clear thinking that enables players to make their best decisions when it matters most.
TIP 3. Slow Down
Think of a moment that matters to you. A situation or challenge where you’d like to bring your best self - but maybe haven’t been doing so recently.
Perhaps it’s starting an innings, or when the pressure is building.
How can you slow things down in these situations, and give yourself time to be clear about your intention?
Be like a climber - poised and going forward with clear intent.
TIP 4. Go Short
When moments really matter it’s easy to get distracted by thinking of consequences, rather than staying on task.
Your best friend is a VERY short term goal.
Choose a small goal - maybe something to do next delivery or in the next five minutes. Take a breath and get into the habit of pacing it out small goal by small goal. That’s how success happens.
Once More .. Start with a Clear Mind
No matter the situation you can succeed in the moments that matter, by creating and maintaining a clear mind:
SLOW DOWN - avoid being rushed by the situation
QUIETEN THE MIND - reduce the noise in your thinking
FOCUS ON WHAT’S NEXT - give yourself a practical goal and task
This is not ‘rocket science’ but our minds are not naturally tuned in to slowing down when big things happen, so that’s why mindful practices like meditation and centering are so valuable to training the mind to go where you need it in the moments that matter.
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