Cricket Mental Training: Goal Setting: The Road To Success
Cricket Mental Training: Goal Setting for Success
The description of this web page is.....
'Performance Goal Setting: Learn How The Titans Won Six Titles In Four Years and Half The Side Played For South Africa Or South Africa 'A'.
Phew ! Thats quite a big claim, but it is true and it was all based on the power of Goal Setting.
When I began to use Mental Training Principles, Goal Setting being one of them, the performance of myself, the Cricketers and the Team went up exponentially.
Everything we did became focused and purposeful.
The Goals for the Team were to win all the competitions we played in.
The Team Goals for the players was to play for South Africa.
Everything that was done on a daily basis within the team was in the service of these goals.
A simple daily question that was asked when we trained and played ...... 'What are our goals for today?
The first step in goal setting is to choose what you want.
This is the seed that you plant in the subconscious mind.
This is central to Mental Training for Cricket.
When we select the goal (the seed) we submit it to the subconcious mind and then we release the goal so that the brain can go to work on fulfilling it.
The function of the brain is to set and fulfill goals. The brain is a goal setting mechanism.
That is not to say that we are a mechanism, we are the spirit behind the mechanism, choosing how and when we use it, we use the mind for this.
Goal Setting is a reflection of the brain, it uses the creativity and problem solving of the right side of the brain and the structure and analytical skills of the left brain to break down our goal into easily achievable steps.
All the greatest cricketers have had this ability, to switch between what they want, their goal, and how they are going to achieve it.
Setting Goals is essential to success, it is the mind choosing a focal point for the brain to orientate itself to.
Defining The Goal: Success
Coaches and Parents pay special attention here.
I define 'Success' as being your best on a daily basis.
Success is not based on the need to win or to be better than anyone else.
Sound Strange? Lets explore this some more, why isn't it all about winning, surely that is the goal ?
We all love to win when we play sport, yet we will lose and that doesn't make us less of a person.
If we tie our identity to winning then we will disappointed much of the time.
When we release the need to win we become stronger, we stop evaluating ourselves from a position of weakness, 'I only am someone when I win'.
If you think you only are 'someone' when you win, you diminish yourself, it is not possible to win all the time, look at Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, they lose and lose regularly.
Success is not based on being better than anyone else, there will always be someone who is better at cricket than you.
At some stage you will get too old to play, that doesn't mean you become a 'nobody' when you give up playing.
Goal Setting is about recognising you are already everything you are meant to be, part of your growth into your potential as a cricketer, as you work on your game, is being and giving your best on a daily basis. That is winning.
You can lose as part of your team and yet you may have played better than you have ever played before, are you then a winner or a loser?
Your team win and yet you didn't play to your potential, are you a winner or a loser?
In recognising the difference you are a winner, you now come from a position of wisdom and strength, it allows you to enjoy your cricket without the need to think you will only become someone or somebody when you win.
Principles of Goal Setting
Goal Setting works on a set of steps or principles, they are quite simple.
Like our little man here, when we follow them we put the building blocks in place for our success.
Yet they take practice.
The first part of Goal Setting for Cricket is creating the Vision or Feel of the desired goal.
It begins in the Imagination, through the Visualization and Imagining of the Goal.
I include 'look' and 'feel' of the goal because some people are more feeling than visual.
Check out the webpage in this section on Visualization and Imagery for help on this.
The three basic types of goals are ...
Dream Goals, we all have these and they are very important, they are our highest intentions and wishes.
When we take our Dream Goal and put a date on it, it becomes an Outcome Goal.
We break down Outcome Goals into Process Goals, these are really just the stepping stones to achieving our Outcome Goals.
Process Goals are the steps we take, ball by ball when we work toward our goal.
In cricket, whether we are batting, bowling, wicketkeeping or fielding, we set a goal for each ball, then we re-focus and set a new goal for the next ball and so it goes on.
The process goal is what we need to attend to each ball with positive intent.
Each ball is a step, we join the steps together and our outcome goals begin to emerge, we scored fifty or a hundred runs, we took 3 wickets at an economy rate of 4 runs per over.
There are Five Key Steps in Goal Setting
1. Specificity. Your Goal must be specific and clearly defined.
Know what you want. Write it out in one sentence.
2. Measurable. Your goal needs to have a measure attached to it, this lets you know when you have achieved it and whether you are on track with it.
Very simply this could be taking three wickets a game, averaging 50 runs an innings, you can set it to whatever aspect of the game you want to work on.
Having a measure allows you to break the goal down into steps.
Example: My first goal as a batter is to get off the mark, then it is to get to five runs, then work in sets of five runs to keep my focus.
3. Achievable Is the goal achievable and realistic to your level of development as a player.
The goal needs to be challenging without being so far out of your reach that you will become discouraged when you don't achieve it.
To aim to play for your national side in 6 months when you are still a club cricketer is not very realisitic.
4. Record Keep a journal or log book of your progress, this allows you to reflect on your progress and growth.
You can begin to see your habits, good and bad, to see where you are on track and off track with your goals and then make the adjustments.
5. Time Frame Put a time frame on your goals, this gives them a context and helps you to focus.
It allows you to take an idea and bring it from seed form into reality, you break it down week after week to goal completion.
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