The Death of Negative Thinking

From: Ian Canaway

I suspect that nobody has ever explained the concept I’m about to share with you (if you know it, that’s great!); you can use it to help improve your cricket and in fact, in almost any aspect of your life.

So here goes…

“Never think to yourself…”

negative commands such as “don’t” or “can’t”…

e.g. “don’t get out now”, “don’t hit it in the air and get caught, “don’t miss the ball” or “don’t drop the easy catch”…

“Why Not?”

Well, to process a thought or command such as, “don’t get out now” when you’re batting for example, your brain must first process the thought of getting out, before it can think about NOT getting out. Your thought processes are,

“…don’t get out” – but your brain actually thinks about ‘getting out’. As to think about not getting out you have to think about getting out, make sense…?

“So You Actually Think About ‘Getting Out’,
Without Realising It!”

So if you follow that I think you should see the problem with this type of thought process. You’re focusing on a negative, which is the exact opposite of what you actually want. Next time when you are playing cricket (or doing anything you want to do well in), try and identify whether you unconsciously have this type of thought process and put it right!

“Here’s How You Can Solve This Common Problem…”

It’s not rocket science really, but you need to learn to replace the negative thoughts, with those which are neutral or ideally POSITIVE in relation to what you want to achieve.

For example, instead of thoughts such as, “I can’t get out now…”, replace them with thoughts such as, “I’m going to stay in and win this for my team!”, or another example such as, “don’t bowl a wide”, replace it with, “I’m going to send this batsman back to the pavilion and knock his off-stump out of the ground, right NOW!”.

Do you see how easy that is?

“It’s a much more powerful way of thinking…”

The brain is an extraordinary tool and can do amazing things, yet it’s powers are still hardly understood.

I hope you’ve found this post useful, post your thoughts and comments below. Oh and if you know anyone who would find this post useful, send them a link 😉

All the best,

Ian Canaway

P.S. Now go play some cricket!

P.P.S. If you're not already getting our Free Cricket Tips Newsletter, use the form below to sign up now...

Claim Your FREE Training Tips

Fill out the form below and you’ll immediately start receiving your FREE tips to help you learn how to play great cricket regardless of your age or ability!


Republishing or distribution of content is NOT permitted. All content is Copyright, Ian Canaway &


  1. Ally c says:

    Too true, i was told this several years ago, and still believe it to this day! You always have to think positively to succeed and you always have to back yourself!

  2. Harrowdrive says:

    It’s often difficult to realise you are even having negative thoughts. For many people their negative view is so ingrained it has become automatic. I find the solution to this is to use the ‘stop’ trick recommended by Rainer Martens.

    This simple trick is easy to put in place. When you find yourself having a negative thought you stop yourself by thinking “STOP” and imagining something like a red traffic like, a big stop sign or a policeman making a stop signal with his hand. This is like a punch in the face to your negative thought. It simply cannot go on when you have stopped it so suddenly.

    Once stopped, use your positive thought to replace it.

  3. AshNZ says:

    Its pretty natural for your brain to think negative thoughts. Its a natural process, but it is something we need to control if we want to succeed.

    Brain is programmed to give us answer to any question we ask it. When you ask your self “Why cant I score anything?”, your brain exactly shows you why you CAN’T

    If you ask yourself “How can I score more runs?”, brain shows you how you CAN.

    Ask good questions.

  4. Harish says:

    It’s absolutely true, I agree with you and this is how I follow whether its cricket or life. I think everyone should take this approach.

  5. Swarup says:

    if a bowler is hit for runs should he think “i will knock-off the batsman’s head with a bouncer, ribht now”

  6. Abbas says:

    Awsome Man so true

  7. Ally c says:

    hmmm, in response to Swarups comment, i think you haven’t quite got the grasp of it

  8. Matthew Hargreaves says:

    I find that by recognising that I play Cricket to enjoy succeeding there is no such thing as failing just a level of success that I acheived in reality. Therefore there is NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF just do what you need to do to acheive your best.

    Focus on what you want to acheive to bring about this success, bat straight and wait for the ball for me. Thats my approach to cricket Ive just taken the sport up at the age of 41 and love the opportunity it gives me to develop for life.

    Cant wait until Freddie and KP bat us to victory tonight, Possitve thinking wins


  9. Guy Thomas says:

    Yes, this is very good and should not be overlooked or laughed at.

    When you enter a game think about where you WILL score your runs, and try to visualise everyone as being lesser than yourself. Some say cricket is a selfish sport. While this comment is massively untrue, it does uncover a large aspect of the way we should play cricket.

    People say cricket is a selfish sport because people think about themselves confidently, more often. This is just plainly because cricket is a tactical sport, and batting relies almost solely on your confidence. If you are unconfident, you will give out bad vibes to the opposition players. The human body picks up on the way someone else is thining extremely well (This ties in with theories created for successful dating). You must believe in yourself.

    When you next get to the middle, tell yourself that you are good, tell yourself that you are better than the people around you. And act upon it, because if you can get this part right, you WILL be exactly as you picture yourself.

    Now go and be confident, believe in yourself, and shine

    and as Ian says… Go play some cricket 😛


  10. Harrowdrive says:

    Great comment Guy, although I would add that you can’t fool yourself into thinking you are good when you really don’t believe it.

    The trick here is to spend some time away from the middle visulising your past and future successes. You can read more details in my post on “getting the right attitude” here:

  11. HAMZA says:

    i think ur 100% right it its really great to thought good thanx 4 great advice

  12. HAMZA says:

    ur 100% right if person think positive its great 2 play thanxx4 great advice

  13. Sasi says:

    I really wanna THANK you very much for your article because i was havig this problem of (-)ve thinking but now i’m fully positive and have only POSITIVE ENERGY fully in my body and my mind!!! As my matches are fast approaching i swear you that i will perform really well!!! ONCE AGAIN THANKS A LOT!!!!!!!!

  14. Ian says:

    Sasi, many thanks for your kind comments. I am very glad you enjoyed the article and wish you the best of luck with your upcoming matches!



Leave a Comment or Ask a Question...