Importance of mental strength in cricket
Many experts believe that 80% of cricket is a game of the mind. It's a game played in the head. So mental toughness is essential to win. Psychology is majorly at play in cricket. As Glenn McGrath, former Australian cricketer puts it, 'I think ability is a 10 to 20 per cent requirement, you need 80 to 90 per cent mental strength.'
As the playing conditions and umpiring decisions change in cricket, self-confidence is of prime importance for the player. A batsman's efficacy can change from situation to situation as they are faced with different bowlers, playing conditions and match situations.
A study by psychologist Bandura in 1997 says that self-efficacy or confidence levels can impact sport performance by determining levels of motivation that will be reflected in the challenges individuals undertake, the effort they expend, and their levels of perseverance.
Research has also outlined the positive contribution made by self-talk on efficacy expectations and so you will often find cricketers indulging in positive self talk to bring out the best in them.One can develop mental toughness by:
- Train your mind to function and perform effectively and most consistently.
- On must learn how to best deal with ones emotions and pressure more consistently and effectively.
- Boost your morale and confidence. You could do this by reflecting on successful sessions smart thinking.
- You need to maximise your mental energy and this can be done by developing concentration routines.
Also read: Boost Your Brain Power
Team India in a position of advantage
India's strong fitness regimen has ensured for them mental toughness. Virat Kohli believes that his regular exercising and strict diet has ensured that he remains concentrated in the long hours of practice and in the presence of internal and external distractions on the field.
MS Dhoni has also always maintained that the team knows that apart from having the proper strategy, you have to make sure that you stay calm under pressure and keep yourself focused on the right things. The team believes that you have to be able to rebound quickly from your mistakes and not carry them into the next moment of the performance.