Five reasons why cricket is a mental Game – We love it
Any athlete who’s practiced for years will say that a sport is largely mental. All the natural-born talent in the world and hours (or even years) of concentrated effort won’t prevent someone from losing their cool in the middle of a heated game.
Individual sports like golf and tennis are often regarded as the most dependent on the mental fortitude of its pros. The more physical a game, like American football or rugby, the less pundits tend to qualify a sport as mental.
Then there are the in-between sports. Similar to baseball, cricket is viewed as a highly technical sport that involves equal parts physical prowess and mental precision. Balls are whizzing quickly, and athletes have only a second to make their chance matter both offensively and defensively.
Once a play has finished, there’s no amount of hustle that can fix a dropped ball. In fact, most pros have a long stretch of downtime, which isn’t helpful for rekindling a fighting spirit or staying positive when it matters most.
Though most cricket stars have a solid hold on keeping their cool under pressure, a single slip-up can lead to catastrophe—especially if other players also lose their focus. Those who bet online on cricket know the importance of leaders like Steven Smith and Kane Williamson maintaining their composure.
Imagine backing the Royal Challengers only to see Kohli lose it at-bat. Thankfully for fans, it doesn’t happen often. But when it does, it’s a reminder that cricket is a largely mental game. Here are five reasons why.
One: On, then Off, then Back On Again
Cricket players have between 30 to 40 seconds between each delivery to collect themselves—ideally. When things aren’t going right, holding that cricket bat and trying to refocus the mind can be difficult.
But a cricket player is expected to turn their attention on and off at any given time in a game. Even those who practice mindfulness and take care of their bodies can’t deliver on this level of attention every game. But the best pros won’t let fans know they’re having an off-day.
One huge aspect of being a professional athlete of any type of handling public attention—both praise and criticism often come in equal waves. However, those who find themselves playing for a top cricket team will see more attention (good and bad) than other athletes given the global popularity of cricket.
A professional in the US’s NFL may be recognized anywhere they travel in North America, but a cricket star might be recognized in any corner of the world. Facing a constant barrage of attention can affect mental sharpness—both on and off the field.
Similar to the widespread attention that professional cricketers attract, they’re also subject to interleague trades. This means that a star athlete could move from England to India to Australia in the course of a few years.
Not only is there plenty of pressure to acclimate to a new team and start yielding results for their new side, but pros also have to deal with culture shock and intense stretches of jetlag. This even applies to World Cup matches. Needless to say, it’s hard to keep it cool when there are countless moving parts in both personal and professional spheres.
Four: Tiny Margins
Any truly riveting sport will have a razor-thin margin of victory for top matches. However, in cricket, each play requires total precision. Similar to how golfers will be looking to put for every iota of space between them and the hole, a cricketer (and batsmen, in particular) must account for the tiniest gaps.
Five: Long Stretches
Any cricket fan likely knows what the last nail in the coffin is in terms of mental fortitude: the long nature of cricket games. Sure, T20 cricketers may only be required to pay attention for three hours (which is difficult enough), but a regular cricket match can run for up to eight hours.
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