As you’re probably aware, individual and team performances in many sports rely on how you are able to handle pressure. Cricket is no different.
Cricket is a highly one on one game but is also a stressful, mentally and physically challenging one. This makes it even more important for you to consider the mindset you take into the game.
I think the majority of people believe that the physical aspect of sports takes precedence over the mental aspect, and all you have to do is train the body and the either the mindset will fall into place or you just assume you are given/or have developed the right mindset from the start. However, this is not the case, and your mindset is vital to your success on the field.
The psychological factors are hugely important and can have a huge impact on success. There is more to sport than pure physical strength and technical ability. This would explain why some extremely talented players struggle in specific match situations, whereas less talented players are able to excel regardless of flaws in their make up.
You have to ask yourself the question, how much of an athlete’s success is dependant on their body, and how much depends on their mind?
Some people say 90 percent of performance is the mind and only 10 percent is ability. But players spend 100 percent of their time focusing on the 10 percent, but tend to ignore the other 90 percent.
Cricket is different in that is played over a number of days, requiring increased concentration, determination and flexibility. Psychology in cricket falls into two key areas, mental skills and psychosocial skills. Mental skills usually come into consideration in match situations, and should be considered as part of a game plan.
It’s important to note that these skills can be developed. They can be taught, practiced and mastered. Psychosocial skills are related to how you can handle personal stresses or specific scenarios outside of the game. Every person faces daily stresses that can influence their performance on the field, mainly due to the immense concentration that cricket requires.
The modern players now face more complex racial, cultural and religious situations than before. A level of maturity is now required for all involved. It is no longer simply about the mindset of the game, other factors have to be considered.
Psychosocial skills and mental skills are nothing that should be over complicated, it is simply a combination common sense, courage and street smarts.
Especially in the modern game, their are numerous factors which can affect your game and your mind, which include long tour schedules, media commitments, adjustments to new cultures and being in the same company continuously for long periods. If you want to play at a higher level, this is something that needs to be considered.
All in all, it is important to note that the psychology is valuable in sports, and cricket is no exception. Taking the time to understand a specific mindset and the inner workings of elite athletes will be beneficial. If you wish to play at higher levels, you must consider working on your mindset.