Deciding to leave university to give my childhood dream a good go, at this moment in time, feels like the greatest decision I’ve ever made… Not that I’ve made a great deal of life changing decisions mind you, but so far so good!
Considering that only a few months ago I was unsure how this ‘choice’ of mine could impact my life, and whether in fact performances and opportunities would begin to start flowing at Kent, it was very clear that my gut instincts were leading me and every judgement call I made.
Little did I know I’d be sitting here writing a blog with a 1st team Twenty20 and List A debut under my belt with some mind-boggling experiences I’ll treasure for the rest of my “hopefully,” lengthy career!
Having returned to Kent, and continuing to work closely in the Kent Second XI with Simon Willis, it became clear that one area of my game had certainly changed. In my opinion the most difficult aspect of cricket to control is your mental state and approach. Having previously overlooked these issues and consequently allowing them to fluctuate and continue on their desired course, it became apparent that I needed to attack everything differently! From then, I simplified my attitude; every negative occurrence had a sparkling ‘silver lining’ and every thing positive was due to hard work and determination and, that was the way I was going to play the game. Destroying negative thoughts and replacing them with endless positivity changed my outlook on everything in and also away from the sport. Suddenly, every training session I did had a purpose and my self-belief levels climbed. My understanding of events allowed me to play with freedom and that is much of what I’ve been doing this year.
Being in and around the first team dressing room for longer than a ‘pre-season’ this year, has allowed me to speak to the more experienced heads and the coaches and I’ve learnt alot about the requirements that the first-class level commands. The huge amount of lonely hours the top players spend away from crowds and cheering supporters is a strong indicator. This realisation for me, “that you give cricket what you want to get out of it,” is another motto to stand by for my career and “to not give it everything, is cheating yourself” is another. These two slogans aren’t just two ‘cheesy’ sayings that people use to make a point but are in fact frighteningly true and I’m happy to have found these life lessons early.
On reflection, over what has been (so far) a year to remember, where somehow I managed to fit in a game against Kent for my old MCCU associates, scored my first double hundred in the Second XI, walked out against the brilliant New Zealanders, been involved in a winning side against the reigning Twenty20 champions, managed to score a Twenty20 fifty at The Oval and made a maiden 50 on List A debut at New Road, Worcester. So far, this year will be one I’ll never forget at Kent.
Hopefully we can push hard for our remaining games in all forms and come away with some strong victories!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and here’s to the belief that we can finish this season with momentum, leading into Summer 2014.