The Introvert's Guide to Thriving in Cricket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

The Introvert's Guide to Thriving in Cricket

Do you recognise this in yourself, Mr/Miss Introverted Cricketer?

You want to be left alone to get on with your role. As a result you tend to be slightly apart from the team. You're not especially interested in the social side of the game, you prefer the challenge set to you by trying to score runs or take wickets.

And as for contributing to the team overall tactics or culture, you have deep and well-considered opinions that you keep very quiet about. Team meetings are a chore and you avoid them at all costs.

You thrive under your own steam.

This can come across - especially to the more socially minded players - as uptight, over-serious or maybe even rude: Think the classic accusation that "he only plays for his average".

You know it's just the way you are wired. So here are some ways to keep the social secretary happy whilst also contributing to the side as a team player and an individual.


Find your space

You play best alone, and get easily stressed in larger groups. That can a problem at a cricket match with 21 other players alongside spectators, umpires, coaches and the rest. The solution is to make some space for yourself that doesn't impact on others.

So, both before and after the match, put aside time for yourself. Read your book, go for a walk, or do whatever it is that relaxes you. If you try to go straight from a high energy situation to the game, you're going to have a hard time keeping your levels up. Equally, if you have something quiet to look forward to after the match, you are more likely to burn all your "social" energy up during the game.

You'll seem less aloof and more invloved in the team, even if you pass on the post-game party into the night after a win.

Check in, don't meet

As you don't like to pipe up when the group is large, your voice tend not to be heard in the team. However, you have opinions like everyone else. The way to get them across is one to one; that means"checking in" with people for informal chats over bombastic pre-game team talks or all-hands formal meetings.

Luckily in the game you have plenty of time to do this: Walk round the boundary with a couple of people when the team is batting. Stand at slip and chat to the keeper. Get to the ground early and speak with the coach before anyone else arrives.

You thrive in these moments and your thought-through gems are often gladly accepted by more spontaneous types.

Become the team thinker

And that brings us to the last point. You can improve your team-man reputation, and your team's performance by becoming the "go to" guy for thought out ideas and tactics.

Say the captain is an extrovert who loves flying by the seat of his pants. He may miss something obvious that you see clearly, but you don't have the confidence to get the word out. You can use the time between games to think your idea through, come up with compelling evidence through analysis and quietly present the idea to him before play next week.

As Bill Gates once said:

"If you’re clever you can learn to get the benefits of being an introvert, which might be, say, being willing to go off for a few days and think about a tough problem, read everything you can, push yourself very hard to think out on the edge of that area."

It won't take long for the coach and captain to see you as the go to guy for planning and strategy ideas that are out of the box and based in common sense. In fact, your thoughtful, mindful nature makes you an excellent leader with tactical skills and great one-to-one interpersonal ability. You would be an excellent captain.

It's about playing to your strengths and understanding how your personality is just as important as your technical ability. If you can do that you are a long way further down the road to becoming an exceptional cricketer.

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