The 2018-19 Season is about to start in 2 months, and pre-season training is underway. I recently bought a new stick, the Gray-Nicolls Kronus (worth $149 only would you believe it?), and got it knocked in. It just needs several sessions of batting either against throw downs or against older balls before it can be used in a match. I’m expecting that this bat will replace the SCC Tyrant I used last season as the new bat has a lighter pick up, which should allow me to react to the ball quicker than before while still expecting good value for shots.
There were some changes during the off-season. I tweaked my own diet so that I eat more fruits during the day, but one thing that does fail to stop is my love for desserts, sweets, and savories. If I can at least keep that to the minimum throughout the season, I’ll be pretty pleased, considering I’ve always had to battle against my weight for quite a while. Furthermore, flexibility is becoming more critical in my routines as I had learned that it will help injury prevention and increased mobility, which should help both batting and bowling. These days I do it after each gym workout, which means I spend time on it at least 3 times a week. The next step is to make sure I do it after each cricket training session.
This off-season also allowed me to understand where my priorities lie, and definitely, it’s with my family. For the last two seasons, I had expected to be available for every single game of the season. Still, I had to miss matches to spend time with family (as a result left me disappointed in missing some games of cricket since I had paid full fees). This season I know I’ll be missing matches throughout the season to be with family and friends, and with the possibility of me paying fees after each game instead, this will allow me to put in my full effort on the field while enjoying myself off the field.
On a long term basis, I also do realize that I may not be able to play forever, especially once kids come into the picture (previously I was hoping to play until my 50s or 60s). Therefore, I have ruled out the grade cricket treble of 1000 runs, 100 wickets, and 100 games as it’s likely to be out of my reach. If I get it, then great otherwise it doesn’t really matter.
A quick glance at my overall MyCricket stats shows 112 games, 786 runs with a highest score of 48, and 110 wickets with best figures of 5/18. Basically, I already took 100 wickets and have played 100 games since 2009-10. So it seems to me that the MyCricket treble is in reach if I can score the remaining 214 runs and that now is my long term goal. I am hoping out of those 214 runs, I can compose my maiden official half-century (my 60 not out in a 2015-16 Sunday Social semi-final does not count). That is my second long-term goal. My third long-term goal is to learn how to swing and control the white-ball. Ideally, I want to achieve this in matches (which I will need to play at least 4th grade), but I just realized that I can at least achieve it by practicing with the white-ball at training.
My season goal would have been to play 3rd grade (which a couple of teammates believed to be achievable when they told me at presentation night), but that doesn’t really matter for me now. If I get consumed in the goal, then my performances get affected. It was a lesson that was learned the hard way but the likes of Kurtis Patterson and Mike Hussey. Instead, I should focus on my attitudes, routines, fitness, and diet. If I do that, then performance and selections will take care of itself. This includes practice with a relaxed mindset, which should improve decision making out in the middle as well as attending training even if I’m not playing on a given week (fitness and weather permitting).