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Your Mind

January 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 144

By understanding how your mind functions, you will be able to utilise its power, to get the most from yourself or those you coach. It is often claimed we use less than ten percent of our mind, therefore its vast, latent power is still unknown to medical research.

Your mind has two parts, the conscious and the subconscious, otherwise known as the unconscious. Some spiritual people also believe we have a super-conscious. Your conscious mind functions in a state of active awareness. As you are reading this book, you are aware of the words on the page. Your conscious mind thinks and plans. You consciously set targets and goals, plan tactics, decide what skills to practice. For example, during a game you may decide to bowl a fast spin around the wicket after bowling over the wicket to change the angle of delivery and confuse the batsman.

Your subconscious however, has much more depth to it, in fact, the depth is immeasurable. Are you aware of your breathing? Of your digestion? When you sleep, who does those functions for you? Your subconscious. It runs your body, contains all you memories, holds your values and your emotions. Using the bowling example above, having consciously decided what to bowl, your subconscious takes over to co-ordinate your physical movements, so you use the necessary skill gained from constant practice without any conscious mind interference.

The batsman receiving your ball will be unlikely to react consciously with any judgement as he has no idea where you are bowling and the ball could be travelling and swerving at ninety miles per hour, so he will have to act instinctively.

That's why you practice. Your subconscious mind will find it difficult to perform a task it has never seen or executed. The better you practice, with constant repetition, the more automatic, competent and smooth your actions become. When it is not possible to physically practice, you can visualise by using your imagination.

Your subconscious responds to symbolic thought. It sees, hears, feels, smells and tastes. So imagine standing at the crease, you will see the ball in your minds eye, hear the sound as you hit it, physically feel the connection of your bat and perhaps smell the freshly cut outfield.

Your conscious and subconscious minds can best be described like this. Your conscious mind is the team captain, planning tactics, setting targets, analysing the opposition. It's the task of the team - your subconscious mind, to follow the captains instructions and make his plans happen on the field.

While there is good communication between the captain (your conscious mind) and the team (your subconscious mind) and the team are well drilled in their duties from training and practice, all should play efficiently. If there is poor communication brought about by low confidence, negative thought, indecision, poor skills, then you can imagine what the performance on the field will be like.

Returning to our bowling example earlier, what happens when you decide what you are going to bowl, then at the last second, you change your mind during your run up? You then impede your bodies natural flow, creating poor communication between captain and team, poor communication between conscious and subconscious minds.

That is why practice is so important, especially working on new techniques or improving specific skills. The more you practice them, the more automatic they become for you and you are better able to reproduce them without having to stop and think during a match. Please remember - perfect practice makes perfect performance.

Your subconscious is like a loyal servant, it wants to please you. However, it only has the ability to do so through simple communication. As you have learnt, your subconscious is huge, but it need direction. It responds best through your senses rather than words, which is great for skills practice.

A Mind 4 Cricket by Paul M Maher PhD can be bought as an ebook download from or it can be purchased as a hard copy at £7.99 from Melrose Books or ordered from bookstores. Make sure you ask for the updated and revised 2011 edition.

Paul M. Maher invites you to learn more about sports psychology and to maximise your sports potential by visiting You will gain access to invaluable eBooks, regardless of which sport you play. The latest are focused on cricket psychology, soccer psychology, Tennis and Bodybuilding

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