A couple of seasons back after one of our CSK lions had hit the winning runs in an absolute must win pressure situation, I asked him as to how he managed it when he was under so much pressure and his answer was “You just perform the way you would if you didn’t think a lot was on line!”
It is not easy to stay cool under pressure! Especially in cricket, when the hopes of a million frenzied fans and the esteem of your cricket crazy country/state rest on your tender shoulders to deliver the much needed last shot that’d make that thin line between victory and loss look and resound glaringly and blaringly like the Kargil war!
Pressure is created by how we look at it at a particular situation. One needs to understand that pressure starts inside us with our thoughts about the big game or meeting others’ expectations. It is not some external force that grips you by the neck and makes your veins stick out! It is WE! And how WE create the pressure by imagining a negative outcome. The solution lies within; as I have seen our team players do, training the mind to always perform naturally without thinking about what it needs to do next and what the possible consequences are of your actions. Being in the moment completely!
Our team captain has earned the nickname of Mr. Cool, considering he has the weight of the expectations. He believes that staying calm helps one focus and concentrate, shut off all the other voices of expectations, of endless advices to just find his groove to get through.
We tell all those players who feel pressure that what needs to be done, requires your 100%! Nothing less will do. You owe it to yourself! If we win, we know where we are! If we didn’t, we know what needs to be done!
True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.