Four life lessons we can learn from Cricket
Cricket is a sport enjoyed in many places of the world, particularly countries of the former British Empire like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Australia. It is a quintessentially English sport and is not very well understood in many other parts of Europe and America. We can learn a lot from cricket though, and here are some of those lessons:
Cricket is famous for having matches that run for days. When a tennis match runs over multiple days it makes news headlines, just like it did in 2010 when a Wimbledon men’s singles match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut lasted for three days. But when a cricket match lasts this long, no one bats an eyelid. To be successful at cricket, you must understand that the game is very long, so you must prepare to take on your opponent over its entire duration. If you tire yourself out early on, your opponent will get the better of you.
This lesson can be applied to many areas of life. A career is developed over the years, a business is built up through a long process, and relationships take decades to get right. It can also be applied to other sports too – professional poker tournaments often host games that run over several days. For example, a poker game in 2010 saw Phil Laak play for 115 hours straight, breaking the heads-up poker endurance record.
There’s Always Time for Tea
Tea is one of the biggest stereotypes than comes to mind when foreigners think of Britain. The British live up to this stereotype too, with 165 million cups being drunk every day. In Britain, people often joke that there are few problems that a good cup of tea can’t solve, and it is the customary drink to welcome a guest with when they enter your home. Cricket is so English that the breaks within the game are called “tea” because, during the breaks, players would enjoy a nice refreshing brew. This is a good lesson to learn, there is always time for tea, whatever is going on.
It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts
Every two years the English and Australian national cricket teams compete in a competition known as “The Ashes”. The name comes from a joke in a British newspaper that said “English cricket had died” when they were beaten by Australia in 1882. The following year, the press in the UK described the English tour of Australia as “the quest to regain the Ashes”. After winning two out of three games, England was presented with a tiny urn which was supposedly the ashes of a wooden ball. Since then, the contest has been called “the Ashes”, with the winner receiving a tiny replica trophy. And while there may not be much on the outside, it is the supposed ashes on the inside that give the competition meaning. This is an important lesson in life: we should never judge a book by its cover, nor should we judge a person only on their appearance.
A multi-day test match requires consistency across the entire game for a team to be successful. In addition, performance needs to be consistent across multiple matches for a team to maintain its rankings. Victory in one game does not guarantee a strong performance next time, so it is important to not get complacent. Part of achieving consistency is about your mindset, while it is also about training regularly to keep you prepared.
Life is no different. Showing up to work and doing a good job on a Monday is not going to be enough if Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all receive little effort. You won’t see results in your physical strength if you don’t regularly work out in the gym, nor will you improve your language skills if you don’t keep learning new words and practice your grammar.
Cricket can teach us many lessons that we can use throughout life. For the British, the lesson of “always time for tea” is important. There are few problems that can’t be resolved by sitting down and talking over a “good cuppa”. Delivering good results also requires us to be consistent in our approach, whether in work, exercise, sport, or learning new skills. It is also important to be patient, not expecting results overnight, and pacing ourselves so that we don’t expend all of our energy in one go.
While you may not necessarily “get” cricket. You can definitely learn some lessons from its players.