QUESTION FROM AMAN
I don’t feel confident when I’m bowling in matches! I bowl accurately and fast in nets and everything is firing including my line and length but this isn’t the case in matches. I am not confident in matches and don’t know whether I will bowl in a good area or not. My pace is also down in matches and I don’t feel like I’m firing. My question is how do I replicate the feeling of my net sessions in the matches?
This is a great question. You’re allowing the pressure of the match to throw you off your process. This is common in bowlers who are not as experienced in the ‘match’ department.
The reason you feel great in the nets is because you’re bowling with freedom. When you take nets away and go into a big open field and introduce a batsman, an umpire and 10 fielders, the pressure of the match situation is taking over your emotions.
This is very common in most sports so don’t worry. It's the transition from practice-to-performance. There is a great book about the psychological side of this called, Inner Game.
My advice to you would be to (1) play as many matches as you can. Until playing matches becomes second nature to you, you won’t get comfortable with the feeling of bowling in a match and (2) start to introduce pressure into your practice sessions. Penalise yourself if you bowl a no-ball, recreate match scenarios with the batsmen and try to bowl in the middle as much as possible.
Practice like it’s a match. Play a match like it’s practice.
That’s the mindset you need to adopt to overcome this.
Stay patient and stick to it.
All the best!
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