30 Days, 30 Questions: Cricket's life lessons

What are the life lessons we learn from the beautiful game?

In 30 Days, 30 Questions:

Brad Haddin of Australia watches his son Zac practise his wicketkeeping.

Question: What does cricket teach us about life?

Yahoo! Cricket's answer — In his book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell mentions the 10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell says that to attain expertise and success in any field, one must put in a minimum of 10,000 hours of work or practice.

Let's consider that number for a minute. To amass 10,000 hours, you need to work eight hours a day, five days a week for a little less than five years. Excelling in cricket is no different. But to make it big at the international level, 10,000 hours of practice is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind those big sixes, fast yorkers and spectacular catches are tens of thousands of hours of practice — the warm-ups, the exercises, batting and bowling practice, fielding drills, gym time, the cool-downs. In order to remain sharp and fit, top-level sportsmen have to do this day after day, year after year.

This is one thing cricket teaches us about life — the path to success may be tiring, sweaty and unglamorous, but one must still get up morning after morning and go through these routines. And when you need inspiration, you only need to look at your cricketing heroes: behind the glamour, money and fame are their years and years of immense hardship. 

What has cricket taught you about life? Post your answers in the comments below and we will republish the best ones.


[Update, March 25]:
Thanks for your lovely comments. Here are the best ones.

Pooja on self-belief:

Cricket, at innumerable times, needs self-belief and will-power to accomplish the impossible. Take, for example, the recent upsets caused by Bangladesh and the West Indies. Both teams have shown grit and determination in beating strong opponents. As I prepare for my competitive exams due next month, these developments in the world of cricket have shown me how seemingly unreachable goals are actually attainable. The path before me now is clearer. Can't thank cricket enough for radiating immense amounts of inspiration all along.

Atif Ali Khan
on comebacks:

I have learnt only one thing from cricket: how to make a comeback. Cricket is like chess. One must know when to move the knights, when to fix the rooks. You can judge a person's ability by not how he has planned, but how he reacts when all his plans go wrong.

Li speaks of confidence:

When you lose, you should not lose confidence, and try to remain positive. This is one lesson. Another lesson is when you taste a victory don't stop at it. Every obstacle you face should be seen as if you were facing your first obstacle.

Pranav on consistency:

Consistency and performing well under pressure: achieving the top spot is not as big as remaining on top, which takes immense hard work. I had topped my class once which was not hard at all. But to maintain that position was difficult. Cricket teaches us that there is always scope for improvement and to remain on top you need to constantly improve. By extension, this teaches us how to be mentally tough and focussed on remaining consistent.

Lavish on passion:

True passion to make your dream true. Seeing the great SRT play for the the tri-colour with such great passion for 22 years teaches me that if a person has passion for something, the sky is his limit.

We sum up the topic with Sumitra's words.

Any game, be it cricket or hockey or any other sports, teach us the following lessons:

1. Team Work and co-ordination are the most important while trying to achieve an objective.
2. Patience, perseverance with utter dedication keep you on the path of your objective.
3. Fight until the last breath, don't be afraid of losing. 
4. Remember to be humble — it will keep you from complacency.
5. Try to win. If you fail, don't despair. You will have more chances.

Thanks for writing in. We shall look forward to your participation tomorrow.

All Questions