Learning Life Lessons From Cricket


Although football is the national sport of England that has successfully exported to every corner of the world, the most stereotypical English sport in the world is cricket. It is a game that is steeped in strange traditions, like players wearing long trousers, tossing a coin before each game, red and yellow striped uniforms, and screaming the word “howzat”.

The game is mostly played in countries that have strong historical ties to Britain, such as South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, India and Pakistan. It is perhaps the most popular in the latter two on the list.

Like with many sports, lessons from cricket can be applied to other areas of life. Here is a look at some:

Keep an Eye on the Rules

There are 42 separate Laws that govern the game of cricket. Players must have a good grasp of all of them to be able to win without upsetting the umpire. These Laws (which are always spelt with a capital L) can be quite complex, requiring the player to spend some time studying them. There are other sports with a lot of rules, such as Formula One, where drivers must be able to remember a “delta lap time” to stick to under safety car conditions, and poker which requires players to remember the order in which different hands are valued.

Remembering the rules is not just important for our sport though. You need to understand the rules and terms in many different areas of your life. For example, when you started your job you would have signed a contract, but you probably don’t remember what’s in it. You agree to contractual terms every time that you drive into a private car park and you should familiarise yourself with these (especially in those new camera controlled sites). Making sure that you understand the terms and rules of these (and many other) areas of your life can help keep you out of trouble.

Take Your Time

The old adage of “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” certainly applies with cricket. With the exception of some of the newer rule variations of the game, cricket matches can last for days. This means that you must pace yourself, conserving some of your energy levels for later in the game. If you are flagging at the end, then your opponent will be more likely to beat you.

This is true in all sports. A race driver can’t win a race at the first corner, nor can a golfer win a round on the first hole. However, compared to a 90-minute football game, or a two-hour Formula 1 race, cricketers need to have an almost endless stamina.

The rule applies to the rest of life as well. Businesses are built over the years, careers are developed over decades, and relationships require a lifetime of nurturing for them to remain fruitful. You need to be patient and take your time when cooking; some recipes will go wrong if you rush the preparation or cooking time. The same applies to writing. If you rush, you are more likely to make mistakes. Whatever it is you’re doing, take your time.

Remember to Take a Break

Do you ever feel fed up with work and dream of escaping somewhere exotic, just to take a break? Well, this is an important part of remaining productive. If you don’t find time to rest and relax, you will begin to see your ability to perform drop off.

The way that cricketers overcome this is through one of the sport’s biggest traditions: tea! A cricket match pauses a few times throughout the day, with a lunch break and a tea break. Modern cricketers make sure that they are hydrated by drinking sports drinks and water, but tea is still a popular option that may take up.

Breaks give crickets a time to rest their muscles and reflect on their performance during the game. This gives them the opportunity to find ways to improve their play or alter their approach. In the same way, a few breaks during your working day will help you stay focused on your job, lower your stress, and give you an opportunity to socialise with colleagues.

Consistency Matters

Sometimes it is hard to keep our motivation when working in the same job for a long time. When starting a new task or a new project, we often get a burst of excitement and interest that helps us to perform well. However, some people can see their motivation wane over time.

Being consistent is the only way to be successful over the longer term. This is particularly true in cricket. A test match can theoretically last for five days, meaning that cricketers must maintain a consistent performance for the best part of a week. This consistency must also be maintained over multiple matches too. Winning a single match will not lead to long term success.

Cricket is an interesting game that is steeped in tradition. Even for people who do not play or follow the game closely, important, transferable lessons can be learned from the game. In both life and cricket, success is achieved when we take our take, remain consistent, have a strong grasp of the rules, and remember to take plenty of breaks.