The gloves are off!

Well, after all the hype and build up, the Olympics are finally here.And so far, they have not disappointed me.

However, all the sport on this week has been able to distract me from thinking too much about our sub-standard showing on Saturday.

This weekend we have a chance to right some of those wrongs by offering up an improved performance against another of the title challengers, Nottinghamshire Academy.

They will no doubt provide us with a stern test, but often it is easier to follow a poor performance with a big game as it forces you to raise your performance levels even more.

In watching the sports-fest that is London 2012, I have decided to look to see what ideas, approaches or tactics could be applied from other disciplines to improve performances in my own chosen sports.

As a hockey enthusiast, I have been delighted to see the sport getting a good TV billing.

What has caught my eye so far, and is something that I first heard while watching the Tour de France last week, is the concept of ‘negative split’ times in cycling, swimming and running.

The principle is simple. You want to try and go faster in the second half of the race or time trial than you did in your first. In essence, it is a simple concept, and one that I am sure many athletes and cyclist have done before.

However, it is something that Bradley Wiggins swears by.

The key is this, you need to find a pace in the first half of the race which places you towards the top of the leaderboard, but then have the ability to surpass that pace in the second half of the race to accelerate, not decelerate to the finish.

In cricketing terms, it is exactly what Cuckney did to us on Saturday when batting, and in doing so blew us right out of the water by tea.

As a result, we then felt we had to go at a fast pace in the first half of our innings (time trial), and in doing so we burnt ourselves out!

The art of chasing a score should be the same as winning a time trial. You need to be in it at half way.

Sometimes that might mean being close to the split time of your opponent at the midpoint, but if you know you can go fast at the end, it is not always the case that you need to be following the course of their innings.

I also see this mentality applying to a bowling mind set too.