Fascinating article from Connor, Renshaw & Farrow on batting expertise from the perspective of elite coaches.
Rather than an analysis of the technical and physical actions, the paper looks at the mental process of batting, following the scheme I first encountered from Greg Chappell, of shifting focus from the broad before facing each delivery, to fierce as the bowler approaches, before relaxing again between deliveries.
In this paper, Connor, Renshaw & Farrow highlight the crucial contribution of what is described as “The Plus”, what goes on between deliveries, where the elite batter is able to reflect on what has just happened, recalibrate and revise expectations and intentions and then relax, before switching back to the intense focus needed to face the next ball.
So it’s not enough to be technically highly competent, tactically aware, physically fit, and to maintain that rolling focus for the duration of a long innings. Even in the “down time” between deliveries, the elite batter will be calculating the next challenge, the next advantage.
No wonder I sometimes struggle to hit the ball off the square…