5 Ways to convince the skeptics to change tactics and training | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

5 Ways to convince the skeptics to change tactics and training

As a miCricketCoach reader you know more than most club cricketers about how to improve your game. But what about the rest of the team?

In my experience cricketers are a conservative lot. There are still plenty of players who look at you out of the corner of the eye if you suggest gym work, or baulk at the idea that a warm up needs to be more than a quick cigarette and a couple of arm whirls.

Whatever level you play, there are sceptics who don't think bringing in new fangled training ideas or tactics are going to make any difference to the team's results.

But you know the ideas are far from fangled.

Is there any way to break down the walls?
Click, whrrr.
Actually, there is.
And the way I know that is because of a photocopier.

In fact, it's a line of people waiting to make copies in a library. A researcher called Ellen Langer decided to test how people in this line will respond to being asked to cut in.

When she said "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" 60% of people said yes.

When she said "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?" that jumped up to 93%. Nearly everyone.

Like all of us, the people in the queue responded to being given a reason. The effect was so powerful that when Langer changed the reason to "because I have to make some copies" the numbers stayed up at 93%

In other words, it was an automatic response, even in the absence of a rational reason. As Robert B. Cialdini puts it: A click, whrrr.

The tools of automatic response

How does all this help you talk sceptics into change?

You can use these automatic responses to help influence people to your ideas. Here are 5 examples:

Reciprocation. We all have an urge to do something in return when someone does something for us. If you give away something for free, other players in your time are more inclined to do something you ask. Just make sure it ties in with both your aims and theirs. Buying everyone pints when trying to get people on a health kick might be counter-productive.

Commitment and Consistency. Another primal desire is to remain consistent in what we say and do. Salesmen use this click, whrr by getting people to say yes to smaller things so they are psychologically more committed. You can do something similar by lowering your sights and building up slowly. For example if you want better warm ups, start with a simple 5 minutes loosener and increase it gradually from there.

Social Proof. Most people look to others for guidance and to find out what is 'right'. Show your team how successful sides are doing what you recommend and you have a better chance.

Liking. We are not as rational as we think and we are more likely to be influenced by people we like. That means you can't start to make changes unless you are personable. A quick way to do this is to tell stories rather than offer cold hard facts. The former sinks in better and make you seem human and, well, liked.

Authority. Everyone looks to experts to get the answers these days. You can use any credentials you have to help your case. Coaching and playing experience for example. If you don't have any you can borrow credentials from others by citing them as supporting the same thing you propose. Even showing a picture of you with a respected authority is enough.

If you are a good influencer you can help your team improve by getting the stick-in-the-muds to say 'yes' to positive changes. It's not about lying to people. It's about helping people see your point of view. After all, it is the right one, isn't it?

image credit: spratmackrel


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