You may have looked at the title of this post and wondered if these two things even have anything to do with one another. How does mindfulness meditation relate to cricket?
Hear me out.
Usually, when you think of mindfulness, it involves sitting down in a quiet and calm place. Focusing entirely on yourself and your body, and relaxing. However, I am not saying that you should do this on the cricket pitch! I am more focused in learning the art of being only in the present moment, which is the skill of mindfulness.
In some way, many people do say this already.Things like “forget about the previous delivery” or “Focus on a single delivery at a time” and so forth. However, like many things, it is easier said than done.
It may be quite difficult for you to forget about the match situation, how many runs you need per over, or maybe the fact that you are about to reach a milestone such as 50 or 100 runs. This is where I feel actually practicing some mindfulness meditation will benefit you. As your skill in this area improves, you will be able to access this resource at will on the pitch (should you need it).
Although this is not really discussed in other places, I do have a feeling that it could be very beneficial in training your mind to respond the way you want it to. When you are able to play free of distractions or worry, I think your concentration and focus will definitely improve.
You won’t have the same response to any issues that occurred earlier in the game or maybe you simply won’t be affected by the fact you still need to score at 8.5 runs per over.
There are many resources available to you that can teach you the art of being mindful. For those of you that are tech savvy, there are some brilliant mobile applications out there that are designed for this purpose alone.
In any case, I will go through the simple process and you can try it out for yourself. I would say that you should simply try this process out for 3 or so minutes initially, or whatever feels comfortable. Remember there is no need to set of goal of meditating for 30 minutes right from the start.
In any case, try this out.
- Sit down in a comfortable position and location. Relax your body and take a few deep breaths.
- Now take your attention to what you are feeling right in the moment? Focus on your thoughts, your feelings and any body sensations. Just experience it.
- Now change your focus onto your breath. Focus on your inhalation.
- Now focus on your entire body. Notice the sensations you feel. Accept what you are feeling and just relax. You can focus back onto your breath at any time.
You can increase the duration of steps 3 & 4 if you feel comfortable. Remember to start of slow and for a shorter duration, then you can slowly increase as you become better.
This whole concept of mindfulness might not even make any sense to a lot of you, you may be thinking why it is even mentioned on a ‘cricket’ site. It goes against the whole idea that as players, we constantly need to understand the match situation and develop tactics that will give us the advantage.
Try it out and see if it helps you. When you can play without any worry or concern, it could well be that your performance improves dramatically.