Sunday, January 21, 2018

On bouncy pitches

The Indian team went to South Africa and had a tough time. This was not the first time. This has been a debate for 30 plus years now. Why doesnt the Indian team not perform well on overseas pitches?

The answer is simple. There is no practice. There is no skill building. This answer is also nothing new.

How does one build a new skill? By putting onself out there, trying, failing, learning, unlearning, relearning and finally bit by bit climbing the ladder of skills.

So, if the team has to be play on fast bouncy pitches abroad - they need to play on fast bouncy pitches at home. And that means, when the next generation of kids grow up, they need to learn to play on fast bouncy pitches. In theory, all it means is to have every alternate match to be played on a different pitch. And you do this over a generation - even 5 years, you have a battle ready team.

Cut to business. If you need to learn to handle a difficult conversation like a pro, you have to practice doing it. Simply because having a difficult conversation is not exactly an inborn skill - because emotions kick in, amygdala gets hijacked and other things happen. So, one has to learn to drive through this fog of emotion and it can happen only by practice. The earlier you start, the better and easier in your journey as a leader.

So, the next time, your team (or you) have trouble with something, ask yourself, is there a skill component that is missing? Or will you, use the familiar excuse, oh, but thats an "away" series that happens rarely and therefore shy away from building it...

PS: Yes, you will get heroic performances that click once in a while, but it wont help you sustain...

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