Cricket is more than just the bat and field. There is a strong spirit that says, ‘WE WILL WIN THE TROPHY AT THE END OF IT.’ There is a burning desire to make a strong ‘comeback’ in future matches. It is a game that requires constant awareness, focus, skill in strategy planning, intuitive ability, stamina and the list continues. Clearly, the quality of the mind holding the bat decides weather it’s a six or not. The mind behind the ball is driving it towards the stumps. The mind behind the team moves 11 men in co-ordinated precision on a multi-acre ground.
What is the technique to bring mastery over this mind? What is it that can give you the mental edge in a game of skill? A 20-minute meditation routine is the irrefutable solution.
“The best mix you can have is a mix of spiritual practices along with your profession. This helps you to hone your professional skills and help you achieve what you want,” shares Dinesh Karthik, Indian cricketer.
Switch off- switch on technique
One of the very important things that players need is to actively participate in their own recovery and relaxation, allowing them to develop a calm mind. This brings their mind and body in harmony to act in synchronization.
Meditation acts like the famous switch off- switch on technique that players often use to calm themselves. It is like switching off your mind for a few minutes to go deep and relax yourself. This helps you switch on your mind and focus better while on the field. As a batsman, meditation gives you the focus to time your strokes by judging the speed of the ball before hitting it. “Meditation makes me so peaceful and fresh that I can easily judge the timing of the ball I hit and take runs accordingly ensuring that I do not get a run out,” shares 20 year old Sapna Sharma from the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.
On the other end, focus is required on the field - saving the ball from hitting the boundary or catching it with soft hands. Meditation keeps you centred at all times. It helps you to be aware and stay alert of the movement of the other players.
Trigger the boost: maintain your OPS (Optimal Performance State)
A typical game of cricket could normally last up to 7-8 hours. Meditation is like an energy booster that can keep you energized for longer durations. Regular meditation can also help you build your stamina over time. It is important for a bowler to give good deliveries and fruit salads. As a batsman, you need high stamina to hit the ball with force; to run fast and make runs and save yourself from getting run out.
Create the best game plan
A well-planned team strategy is the basis of playing this game. Meditation brings clarity of mind, and gives you the skill to plan strategies better. It also enhances your intuitive ability to plan your strategies with the team.
Derive you own non-verbal language
During the game, you might need to communicate non-verbally with your team. For instance, if you along with other fielder are running to take a catch, you might want to communicate through your expressions that you would be taking it. Meditation improves your ability to express aswell as perceive when the other players communicate with you.
Be the top-dog!
Confidence says it all! On the field, with thousands looking at you from all sides, creating a kind of pressure to make you perform your best, it might not be so easy. You might feel stress building up in your mind. This is where meditation comes handy. Meditating for a few minutes before your game could calm your nerves and help you heal the anxious moments that lie ahead during the game. Your confidence on the field could help you liven up the game and make you the top-dog.
It’s always a win
There are only two options: one that you win the game and second that you win the opportunity to come up with better solutions to the challenging times of the game. Meditation lets you understand the second option because it brings you a sense of acceptance and the ability to make the required changes.
Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks
Graphics by Niladry Dutta