2017 has definitely been a productive cricket season both individually and for the Adamstown Cricket Club (ACC) Team-2. The start was not smooth, the team had lost all 3 of its opening matches. To recover from the setback, finish second in the table and being promoted is quite an achievement. I faltered in the first game and was away for the second. Coming into the third match against Hills, I was into self-pressure. On one side, I did not score in the first game, and on the other, Monty (our captain) promoted me as a vice-captain after Amandeep (the then vice-captain) was injured.
I still remember the pep talk Monty & I had on the way to Hills ground. We discussed strategies, and he comforted me – “I do not want you to feel any pressure. I know you are capable, just enjoy the game”. I scored some runs in a losing cause and since then no turning back, for me and the team. New players have come in, new energy and better results ensured. Already, enough said about the players, the records, the management support and alike. For this blog, I wanted to share 3 lessons I have learned the hard way after playing competitive cricket for close to 12 years now. To me, these 3 lessons would top the “SHOULD KNOW” list of cricketers, if there was any.
- TECHNIQUE IS THE KING.
Dhoni, Dilshan, DeVilliers, and Sehwag are all bad examples. Yes, I have said it and I will say again. Those legends are outliers, they are exceptional. Never try to copy their style, for it is something that comes naturally and not taught. If you are a naturally gifted hitter, well and good, be blessed that you do not need to rely heavily on technique. But in case you are not, never try to emulate them, you might simply fail. For every 2 Dhoni & Sehwag you cite, we could give you 98 Dravid, Kohlis, Husseys & Tendulkars. Hence the term OUTLIER. The best example would be our own ACC opener, Hamid Ali. He is an exception, he relies on hand-eye coordination and when he hits, they stay hit. But, not so for others. Let me share a short story.
- TRAINING IS THE QUEEN.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”.
I do not know if Bruce Lee really said these lines, however, I believe in what it tries to convey. Training is paramount to any skill. Even the outliers mentioned earlier (Dhoni, Sehwag, and others) must train equally well like Dravid or Kohli. In fact, they have to train harder than others to compensate for their lack of technique. I could only reiterate the fact through another one of my stories.
I would practice with my league captain Vignesh in the later stages of my undergrad. We would often hit the nets and do throw-downs for an hour or two. Once he wanted to correct his on-drives and after me chucking 50 balls to him, he grew comfortable. I decided to stop and insisted he got it right. What he said next had still stuck onto me and I shall never forget these words for the rest of my life –
“I know I play it well now. However, it is more due to my deliberate mental focus rather than the flow. Allow me to play longer, while the shot registers in my muscle memory so I do not need to concentrate much to hit an on-drive later in the match.”
What we train enough to register into our subconscious later translates into muscle memory. It is a steep curve, one would take time to perfect a skill. But once the peak is scaled, there is no looking back. I would say it is worth an effort. It is similar to learning how to brush your teeth or how to drive a car. Agree?
- DISCIPLINE IS THE CHESSBOARD
Every skill we learn and we train for, is built on this platform. Discipline is the foundation of any kingdom. One could have immense talent and yet end up being a Sachin or a Kambli. The choice is ours. The ability to choose the right habits, right people or make the right choices is underrated and one who perfects it thrives and excels.
Everyone might not know how disciplined you are, but the moment you lack it, even at a minuscule amount, people notice. Being disciplined is like being a goal-keeper. People do not remember how many you saved, but they always remember how many you have missed. It is an adage. A duck looks composed and unruffled above the surface while it paddles like hell underneath, below the surface. If you are the duck, discipline is your feet.
What is your one takeaway from this? Do share your feedback by commenting on the post, or shoot me a personal message. Your feedback helps me write better.
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram