Thivi Salwathura is a 12-year-old opening batsman who’s had one of his best seasons yet, scoring 570 runs and taking 29 wickets
At the start of the season, Salwathura felt the pressure of needing to score quickly, and found he was distracted by negative self thoughts.
“I felt that I was always thinking about the past; What I did in the last six balls? Am I quick enough? What do I look like? I found I wasn’t watching the ball carefully enough and it was affecting my performance,” he said.
For a young player, being able to identify the negative chatter as an inhibitor to greater results showed the need for self evaluation.
“At the start of the season my goals were to bat for longer, not lose concentration and get through the first 15 balls. I realised I needed a routine and that I need to be 100% in the moment,” he said.
Applying the same mental routine used in training and competitive matches meant that Salwathura improved his performances, and as a result was selected for his rep side.
“My season went pretty well. I got into the U12 rep team when I wasn't sure I would, and I actually made a couple of 40’s becoming the leading scorer for my team. I also batted for longer periods of time and took five wickets in an U15’s game,” he said.
Training with the Australian Cricket Institute (ACI) also gave Salwathura more confidence throughout the year, saying that training harder meant he could achieve his goals.
“I enjoyed the ACI program because it was really competitive, and I was able to learn about what I can do better in game scenarios. The webinars with guests and international players were also hugely beneficial,” he said.
ACI Head Coaches Joel Hamilton and Nick Fitzpatrick have been nothing short of impressed by this young right arm off spinner and opening batsman, so much so, they say his ability to learn and action key strategies are beyond his years.
“Thivi has really surprised me with his attention to detail in developing his game plans and also how committed he is to learning and getting better. He has always strived to learn as much as possible while at our program, and his ability to take on feedback and implement it back into his game so quickly is a great tool for him to have at such a young age,” Hamilton said.
“The other aspect he’s really worked on is his mental game; creating a routine for him to spend his time in between balls more effectively, which has helped him clear his mind from nerves and any negative thoughts or emotions he is feeling. By doing this he’s really become much more clearer with his batting and bowling, and the consistency pays off, “Fitzpatrick said.
Staying focused in the lead up to next season is paramount for Salwathura’s preparation and decision making, advising other players to follow a routine and stay in the moment.
Author: Kara Bertoncini