Perfect practice


Whilst another exciting test vs Sri Lanka is brewing, I’ve been thinking about practice. Will our spinners be able to find their lengths earlier, are our openers going to survive and see off that new ball?

If you were up for selection, how would you tailor your practice to match this gruelling schedule?

Lewis Hamilton vs Terry Small

I’ve been driving since I turned 17. If Lewis and myself entered a race in the exact same model of car, who would win? Lewis! I hear you say… hold on a minute...

● I’ve put in my ‘practice’ (the old saying is it takes 10,000 hours to perfect any skill) I’ve spent many more hours behind a wheel.

● I’ve been driving for twice as long, therefore have more experience

● Driven all kinds of vehicles

Are you still saying Lewis?

Well, of course, he’s definitely going to win, whilst my facts are true, I wouldn’t stand a chance, but why would I lose? The difference between us is how we practice.

Practice examples : Lewis Hamilton


● Spends 2-4 hours everyday in the gym

● Able to tolerate masses of G-force


● Has mental maps every bit of the course

● Has a plan for every turn and opportunities to overtake

● Phenomenal under pressure - stays calm whatever

● Takes and provides feedback every time he’s in, and gets out of the car

Practice example: Terry Small


● Spends 1 hour, 2-3 times weekly in the gym

● Gets dizzy driving in multi-story car parks at 10mph


● Get lost very easily, especially going new grounds - mostly uses google maps and ‘the force’ for directions (Jedi skills)

● Generally not thinking about driving - when driving! Will often be found singing badly out of tune to the radio and enjoying the surroundings with the window open

● If cut up in traffic, it can take about 7 miles to calm down (much to my wife’s amusement)

● Doesn’t even like back seat drivers let alone feedback - forget it.

Given these details, it’s clear we’re at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to how we practice.

How do you practice?

You are what you repeatedly do, if you spend all week bowling no-balls at your club, you’re probably at some point going to do the same at the weekend. (As a coach, I find no balls one of my pet dislikes, the lines don’t move, why give free hits and runs away)

Knowing how you learn is a key, are you visual, auditory, cognitive/Kinaesthetic? etc…

Here’s a quick test to find out:

What methods do you use for feedback? Video, parents/coach, outcomes/targets.

Do you practice the way I drive a car, mainly not mentally present, just going through the motions, when I finally arrive at my destination I couldn’t tell you much about how I got there, even less about how many gear changes, how often I used the brakes, condition of the tyres etc.

Relative to cricket

If you're effortlessly and consistently landing the ball on a spot, striking the ball out of the sweet spot, never dropping a catch or always able to throw down the stumps, then your practice simply needs to be maintained.

However, if not, then the way you practice has to change if you wish to improve, utilising the same hours you spend ‘working’ on your game, thinking about HOW, could change your game forever.

Final thoughts

Knowing how you learn makes practice more enjoyable, you’re likely to learn quicker rewarding you with greater success getting more out of the game. Enabling you to play with less stress, unlocking your full potential and removing the fear of failure, safe in the knowledge that you’ve done a skill consistently beforehand means, when that moment arrives instinct takes over and you can fully express yourself.

SOURCE: youtube/examizy com and