Cricket is a great sport, and many of us love to watch it, and talk about it endlessly. Have you ever realized that Cricket is a lot more than just a great sport? It offers great lessons for team building and even for leadership, that we often don’t pay enough attention to. Here is a list of experiential lessons from Cricket that we can learn and implement in our lives:
One for all and all for one
Yeah, The Three Musketeers must have started this, but it’s equally relevant in cricket. All Eleven players need to fire in as one to win the game. We might see individual brilliance, but it’s the team that wins the match. Imagine taking a run without your partner moving out of the crease. Or imagine taking wickets without fielders. It’s the same with your work teams. No one person can make the project a super success. You need a team to win.
Cover weakness and exhibit strength
Each person in the team has a certain strength and perhaps even some weak points. A great team exhibits their strengths and cleverly conceals their weak areas. This is why slow moving fielders are usually placed in the third-man position or the fine leg to ensure that their weakness is not exposed. Similarly, you don’t see a Kohli opening the bowling and a Nehra opening the batting. A good team recognizes their strengths and positions it in the right areas.
Let the expert take over
You would’ve noticed that in the death overs, someone like a Dhoni does not take a single as it would expose the non-striker, especially if he is not a regular batsman. Now, this does not mean that the opportunity is not being given and that Dhoni is hogging all the limelight. It only means that in desperate situations, the expert takes over and finishes. Good teams let the expert take over and do not crave for personal credit. The team comes first.
Play to your partner’s strength
Imagine Rohit Sharma and Kohli batting together. I’d expect a run out around the corner. Why? Kohli runs two times faster than Rohit. Now Kohli tempers his running and ensures that he doesn’t put the partnership in jeopardy by running that extra run. He understands Rohit’s game and plays accordingly. When Raina comes in to bat, the running between wickets is much more faster. In a team, it’s important to know your partner’s strengths and weakness, and when tagged together it’s important to play to that strength and stay in the game.
Watch each other’s back
There are several examples when the players need to watch out and support the other team member. When the batsman hits the ball behind the wicket, the running call is made by the non-striker. The batsman just trusts the call and starts running. This is nothing short of putting your life in your partner’s hands. This is a great characteristic to have in today’s teams. You need to think beyond yourself and completely trust your team member when you have a blind spot.
Hunt in pairs
It doesn’t help when you are blocking runs from one end and giving away free runs on the other. Both the bowlers need to have a joint strategy and execute that. Several legendary players do this with precision. Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, Walsh and Ambrose, Kumble and Harbhajan, McGrath and Warne. You might not get all the wickets, but the team does, and it wins. Pairing the right people even with diverse abilities is critical for a winning team.
This IPL season, note the way teams bond and use the diversity to their advantage. Ask us about our Gully Cricket program for your employees, that will bring out all these team-building qualities and still leave room for loads of fun. BTW, we’ve had an excellent start working on the KKR team. See what the KnightRiders learnt from a quality team building program. Check it out here – Video Link.