The point that I cannot stress is enough is a
fielder must have good anticipation. You must
believe that every shot will be hit towards you
and prepare accordingly. The importance of a
catch or run-out can never be understated. A
run-out chance could be the difference between
winning and losing a match. Especially when the
opposition is in a good position. Take for
example the wicketkeeper. What happened if he
didn't think about the next ball? You must think
of yourself in the same way. Top quality teams
usually have excellent fieldsmen who anticipate
well and are always moving. Ricky Ponting, Paul
Collingwood and Hamish Marshall are among those
who you should model yourself on while fielding.
Just as important is to relax I between balls.
Fielding therefore is a lot like batting. After
you play your shot for example, "switching off"
before the next ball keeps you fresh mentally.
By this I mean thinking about something
completely irrelevant while the ball is dead. In
the field, whether you are at slip or on the
boundary, it is vital to have periods where you
focus on and off. I like to call it "switching
on". As soon as the ball is considered "dead"
(for example the wicketkeeper catches the ball
and passes it to another fieldsman), this time
is your "switching off time". Think about the
television show last night. Play a song in your
head. Whatever makes you relax or takes your
mind off the game in progress. Then when you see
the bowler at the top of his mark, begin your
concentration and focus on the next ball. Steve
Waugh called the degree of concentration when
fielding "zones". You will be surprised how
simple but effective this is to improve your
enjoyment and focus while fielding. It is also
necessary to last a whole day in the field!