How to Develop Mental Strength of Players

Cricket is a 80% Mental Game

Mental strength is internal capabilities that help players control their minds efficiently & consistently as they execute sports related goals. It also helps players to adjust their actions, thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in order to improve their performances.

The key to toughness is applying consistently the traits of self motivation, positive attitude, and emotional self control while being energetic and ready for action. By applying these traits day in and day out, coaches can help their player to reach new heights in whatever they seeks whether it be a sports or academics.

Let’s look at each of the traits of mental toughness:

Self Motivation:
Cricket is a team sports and can never be played alone. During an ongoing match if a player is low down with his performance it is s/he himself who has to get out of it. Their motivation must come from within. We must make them learn the art of self motivation. Motivation can be strengthened many ways. The intensity of their motivation is determined by how badly s/he wants to perform well. 

Positive Attitude:
We must try to keep the dressing room environment positive and happy, so that players are comfortable and enjoy them self. We can help them to set some kind of realistic goals for a particular match or day or  may be a session, so that they can go out there and try to achieve it with a positive attitude. 

Self control on emotion:
There will be many times whether in a game or in life, things happen beyond your control. A mentally tough player keeps their emotions in check and keeps on with game plan they had in mind from the beginning. We must try to make the players mentally and emotionally strong, as we can.

Focus only on what you control: 
We must make them understand to focus only on the things that they can control. They should not worry about the future or the result of the game, instead focus and play on the current situation. We found this approach helpful for players to relax, focus and play her/his best at the key moments

·        Competitive Attitude Development: 
As a coach one should look forward to see the players of being down or winning the match or putting 100% efforts till the last ball is being bowled. One does not want to see the fear of losing the match in her / his players, but always look forward to see the competitive spirit in their players.

Therefore mental toughness plays a very vital role in a player's career. As a coach one can help players to develop their skill and physical fitness. We should also work on their Mental Strength so that they can fight in critical situations better than other players.

Without mental toughness they will not reach their full potential.

By: Bhavana Patil
Head Coach - Cricket India Academy


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