Tag: Cricket

RCB needs Psychological Reconditioning

RCB Disappointment in IPLGame after game I watch with disbelief, RCB lose its matches in the present edition of the IPL – that has pushed the side to the last spot. I wonder – ` Is there an end to this royal team’ misery?  

RCB on paper always looked like winning the IPL title hands down- but that was not to be- it has never won the cup. The closest they have come was the 3 finals they made in 2009, 2011, & 2016.

Why have the RCB not able to live up to their reputation? Let’s analyse:

  • Batting has always been RCB’s strength with stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle & AB De Villiers in its wings. The latest addition being Shane Watson. RCB’s fortunes have always been dependant on the success of this quartet and whenever one or two of them clicked RCB has done well. This makes the team top heavy without the wanted balance in its batting composition.

 

  • The RCB selection committee has invested a large chunk of their budget on the likes of Gayle, Kohli et al and with the remaining meagre budget available they compromise and end up buying mediocre players [especially bowlers]. So the fine balance is lost.RCB Images 2
  • Bowling has never been RCB’s forte – time and again they have failed to restrict the onslaught of the opposition batsman and at times when they were given respectable totals they have not been able to defend it.

 

  • Players have been known to perform well after they were bought from RCB – and why they didn’t perform well with their earlier franchisee [especially the bowlers] is one question that the chief mentor and the bowling coach should answer.

 

  • The aura of some of the players in the RCB ranks is so great that it over shadow’s the performances of other players making it difficult to bask in their own glory. It is the duty of the support staff to make them more comfortable.

There is a dire need for a sports psychologist in the RCB team for these simple reasons:

1.This IPL X season the famous quartet of Kohli, Gayle, AB De and Shane Watson has not delivered. Injuries or otherwise they have been dubbed to be out of form. Remember it can happen to the best in this world and they are all humans. A psychologist in its ranks would have lent them the psychological support to tide over the situation.

2. The team’s think tank on many occasions has admitted that- they have worked very hard in the nets and tried everything. Trying too hard, over thinking and analysing will only lead to – paralysis by analysis. The resultant effect is pressure, stress and decrement in performance. The presence of a sports psychologist would have helped

3. Most teams of the IPL comprise of senior and junior players. Often the junior players are left cooling their heels not sure whether they will have a role to play. The team management has to take them in to their confidence and prepare them mentally to contribute big time when the situation arose. They need to be assured that their contribution is important to the success of the team. Paddy Upton, Rahul Dravid, Shane Warne, and Shane Watson did it successfully with the Rajasthan Royals. The well-known sports psychologist Dr Rudi Webster did it for the KKR in 2012. Who will forget the cameo effort of Manvinder Bisla against the CSk that helped win the tournament?

4. The support staffs of the RCB headed by chief mentor Daniel Vettori does not seem effective enough to fill this role. A sports psychologist in the ranks of the RCB would have done wonders to its fortunes.

M N Viswanath, author of Success Mantra In Sports and sports performance coach, he can be reached at viswanath.author@gmail.com

The book Success Mantra In Sports is available on Amazon and flipkart. To book your copy you can click here, amazon

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Reputation can play havoc on opponents

 

AB De Villers
AB de Villiers at IPL 2017 – Photo – Hindustan Times

AB de Villiers had to miss the first two games for RCB since he was not fully fit.

On April 10, 2017 he staged a sensational comeback from injury, with a spectacular 89 [46 balls, 9×6, 3×4] but his effort was not just good enough to ensure a huge total for the RCB [148 in 20 overs] that could take them victory.

Ultimately, Kings 11 Punjab got the better of RCB [150 in 14.3 overs] with more than 5 overs to spare. This match would have been a low-key affair but for the heroics of AB De Villiers towards the end on the RCB’S innings. From the beginning the King’s X1 bowlers-bowled a tight line and did not allow RCB to do some quick scoring –runs had started to dry up for RCB even with AB de at the crease, it appeared at one stage that RCB would not even reach 150. Then AB De let his strings loose and runs started to flow for RCB. The Kings X1 bowling that looked effective and economical suddenly started to look mediocre in AB DE’s hands: he was at his destructive best as he threatened to hit every ball out of the stadium [9×6].

At this stage I was left wondering- how do batsmen of the likes of AB DE, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle, Brendon Mc Cullum, Glen Maxwell, Virat Kohli, Carlos Braithwaite and David Warner make mince- meat of good bowling attacks? Bowlers who have looked menacing till then look like novices bowling against these destructive batsmen at their best. These hapless bowlers end up bowling to the batsman’s strength, offer a lot loose deliveries and freebies. As I searched for the answer my intuitive mind told me it was the REPUTATION & EXPERIENCE of these batsmen that does the trick. Against any other batsman the same bowlers would be at their best, executing their various skills while dominating the batsman in the process: but, not against these marauders. Why?

  1. The bowler’s- when they are bowling against a batsman with a reputation of explosive batting- are under pressure and feel threatened [especially so in T-20 cricket].
  2. Instead of thinking of what they need to do under the circumstances they fear what may happen to them [fours and sixes]
  3. They think negatively of what they should not do in order to escape being whacked- in the end do the thing they should not have done.
  4. Sometimes this fearsome reputation puts so much pressure on the bowlers that their brain goes in to a freeze: the resultant effect is that, they are unable to think properly and end up doing something foolish.

5.They are afraid of their own reputation and think of the sense of shame they have to bear with –if things went against them. Who would like to be another Stuart Broad in the hands of Yuvraj Singh [6×6]?

What would be the best possible thing for a bowler to do under these circumstances?

Bowlers when faced against batsman in destructive mood must first, get their brains working by taking some deep breaths. Talk to themselves and change their thoughts to positive. Bring the pressure bearing thoughts to control. Forget that they are bowling to a batsman A or B of repute: think the opposite batsman is like any other batsman. Think of what they need to do. Think of their strengths and visualize executing successfully in line with their plan of action.

M N Viswanath, author of Success Mantra In Sports and sports performance coach, he can be reached at viswanath.author@gmail.com

The book Success Mantra In Sports is available on Amazon and flipkart. To book your copy you can click here, amazon

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Sports Injuries! At What Cost?

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli with his injured shoulder ( Pic : Deccan Herald)

India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli reportedly earns a whopping Rs 5 crores per day from all earnings-playing cricket, endorsing various products and as a brand ambassador. He is the highest paid cricketer in the IPL -10 edition with a contract of Rs 15 crores with his franchise-RCB. But now, he has to miss the early part of the IPL-10 edition beginning April 5th 2017 as a result of an injury to his shoulder.

 

Rohit Sharma has returned to active cricket after a 5 month lay- off due to thigh injury. K.L.Rahul, R.Ashwin, Murali Vijay are set to miss the IPL- 10 edition- all due to injury. Ravindra jadeja and Umesh yadav will also miss the early part of IPL-10 for the same reason. Injury to his wrist has bothered Rafael Nadal for the last three years – Roger Federer & Saina Nehwal have returned to their playing days after going under the knife. Yuki Bhambri and Denis Istomin have been ruled out of the Davis cup tie between India and Uzbekistan due to injuries. Injuries are an inevitable part of an athlete’s career with sport being intensely professional these days. Injuries have nipped many a promising career in the bud or brought more than one career in to a grinding halt with their re-occurrence.

Though physical factors may be the main cause of injuries-psychological factors may also play a role leading to injuries:- Continue reading “Sports Injuries! At What Cost?”

What Mental Mockery Can Do To You?

KL Rahul( Cricket Country)
KL Rahul in action against Australia in Dharamsala test.

( picture from cricketcountry.com)

On 26/3/17 the second day of the fourth test match between India and Australia at Dharamsala: Post lunch session- Opener K.L.Rahul who played with a lots of patience and responsibility since play began in the morning was batting on 60 and facing up to Pat Cummins, who was bowling a spell that was hostile, intimidating and fast with speeds of over 145. In that over after every ball, Pat Cummins muttered something to Rahul: the first time Rahul ignored it: the second time he stared back and nodded his head in dissent. The next ball was bounced: Rahul instead of allowing the ball to go past him decided to slog it over mid-on but ended up giving a simple catch to mid-off. Rahul even in his wildest dreams would not play such a rash shot. All the good work was undone with one shot. It was a simple case of rush of blood, lapse of concentration, and momentary brain fade. What led to this? Obviously, it was Pat Cummins mental mockery. In the end it was Pat who had the last laugh and Rahul was forced to leave dejected and defeated. Pat forced Rahul in to mental disintegration coaxing him to play a reckless shot. In fact, Rahul tried to give-it- back- to- Pat Cummins by playing an aggressive shot- which was the wrong thing to do.

A sporting contest normally is an execution of different skills to get the better of your opponents to gain supremacy over the other. But, when things are not going their way: it has been a customary practice with the players to play mental games to regain control of the proceedings. In cricket, players indulge in verbal bashing commonly known as sledging– especially on the batsman in order to irritate, provoke and intimidate. The result is that the batsman loses concentration- internally, by his own frustrating & irritating thoughts and externally, by all the drama that is going on around him.

Mind games are not restricted to cricket alone: we have seen it happen in Tennis, where players like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors were infamous for using negative tactics to win matches. Whenever the opponent was holding the upper hand they held up matches-by picking up fights with spectators, protesting against linesman, referee or officials. In the melee the hapless opponents waiting for the game to restart would get irritated and frustrated and by the time the game started they would have lost their concentration and rhythm. Ultimately, fortunes would change and they would end up losing the match. Time wasting, irritating habits, verbal abuse, negative body language are also some of the mind games players’ play to fox their opponents in to submission. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were not two batsmen who let sledging get in to their mind nor did they react negatively to the abettors with all the drama happening around them.

How to deal with mental mockery?  

  1. The best thing would be to ignore and look elsewhere.
  2. Do not look directly in to the eyes of the person engaged in sledging.
  3. When sledging is happening around you, focus on something different like the pitch, the stumps, and the greenery of the turf around you. If you are playing a game like tennis- look around to spot something of a particular color like green, blue, white or yellow OR look at the strings of your racquet
  4. Take it with a smile and treat it just as another banter- with the guys trying to break your mind with their antics. The more you take it seriously the more stressed you are going to be. Change your thoughts to positive and focus on what is important at that point of time. Try to maintain your composure even under severe provocation.
  5. Hum your favorite tune or focus on your breathing to take away your mind from all the distractions.
  6. Mental preparedness using the above mantras is the key to handle mental mockery. You know you’ll be sledged – be prepared for it.

M N Viswanath, author of Success Mantra In Sports and sports performance coach, he can be reached at viswanath.author@gmail.com

The book Success Mantra In Sports is available on Amazon and flipkart. To book your copy you can click here, amazon

You can also follow at

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