Losing a cricket match is hard to take. You feel sick, angry and disappointed.
You wonder if maybe it was all your fault. You start to cast your eye around at others looking for those who didn’t care enough or are not good enough.
It’s moments like these that tell you a lot about the nature of the cricket team you are in.
How does everyone react?
Naturally, everyone says failure is not acceptable. You find very few people who don’t care about the result when they play cricket. Yet, how you respond to this gives you a deep insight into how to prevent failure happening again.
Does the coach come in and start giving you a dressing down while you sit and take it?
Maybe you bemoan how the opposition were cheats and umpire was useless.
Which of these creates an atmosphere - or culture - that makes you win?
Actually, that’s a trick question.
Because after a loss, your culture is revealed, not created. If you blame others in that moment it’s the result an environment you have made together.
If you shout at each other, it’s because it’s OK to shout at each other. If you shrug and put it down to bad luck it’s because you made it OK to shrug. If you accuse each other of not caring enough, it’s because you subconsciously decided as a team that it’s OK to accuse.
Which way is best?
In my mind, a winning culture doesn’t care which flagellation method you have developed after losing.
Instead it focuses on being a warrior.
Warriors are proud and strong. They work hard and they are a tight-knit unit. They are honest with each other. They never blame or accuse. Instead they are clear minded. They ask,
- How much did you demonstrate your will to win by working on your cricket skills and game plan between games?
- How much grit did you show by not giving up even when you were in trouble?
- What technical, tactical or physical mistakes did you make as a team that you can learn from and avoid repeating?
- What did you do well that you can improve further?
A winning culture comes from an impulse to be warriors. Warrior set the highest standards for each other. They are clear with each other when they are not good enough. They collaborate to ask why, and work hard to stop it happening again.
It doesn’t matter where that motivation comes from.
Maybe it’s a passion-fueled roasting from the coach. Maybe it’s an indifferent shrug. Either way you can be a warrior: Stay honest and open about what went wrong, ask yourself what to do next and pick yourself up to start the work again.
No excuses, no blame. Just warrior thinking and more wins.