With the right motivation, it’s amazing what athletes can achieve. When players are motivated to work towards their goals, it is that much easier to go the extra mile when other might call it quits.
Motivation is a huge factor in sporting success. Motivation can influence decisions, learning and performance in any sports. If a cricketers not in a positive psychological state, mistake will be made in the performance, and he will not perform at his best level. Intrinsic or self motivation comes from the cricketer himself. There are factors like self motivation, personal satisfaction, zeal and enjoyment. It is because of the personal ambition and the drive to have fun. However many times players feel down and out and they need someone to back them up, support them so that they can pick themselves up and go the extra mile. Sometimes, self motivation is not sufficient. It is in these situations where the captain’s role becomes extremely important.
A good captain starts to build team spirit long before the side goes onto the field. However once the team is out on the field, the captain should continue to instill a positive attitude among his players.
A captain should take the time to tell his team what he expects of them while they are in the field. This may become awkward for many captains as they might have to deal with senior players and former captains as well. However, it is imperative that each player, both senior and juniors, know exactly what is expected from them on the field and that the same instructions are not repeated during match time.
Players are bound to make mistakes. Fielding mistakes, fumbling while catching the ball, overthrows, missed run outs, dropped catches and the like are very common. But if the captain has a go at the players and criticizes them, it loses its effect as the team would think ‘here he goes again.’ Generally encouragement and praise is more effective than a smack on the wrist. This is especially true when a player makes a mistake. It has been seen that when a bowlers are reprimanded for not bowling a particular line and length or when simple run outs are missed because of poor throws and the captain is quick to shout at the players involved, it has an adverse and negative impact on the players involved. They feel de-motivated and let down and more often than not, they would not perform at their optimum levels. Seeing them dispirited the other players also feel de-motivated and it as a cascading negative effect on the entire team. Nobody is trying to make a mistake and all players feel terrible when they dos so.
A captain can help his players feel better by making sure there are no recriminations when errors happen. If the captain goes up to a players pats them on the back and tells them they will get the next one right, it sends a clear and positive message out and helps to build a better team. This is doubled by applauding good work in the field too.
It’s not only the captain who has all the responsibility of motivation and encouragements. It’s easy to forget to encourage players while you are thinking about filed placing and bowling changes. That’s where a good vocal wicket keeper and senior players can keep the captains mind alert, chirping at the batsmen, supporting players who made mistakes and reminding you to congratulate good bowling and fielding. Every team needs a reliable wicket keeper. As well as talking catches, stumping the batsmen and performing run outs the wicket keeper is one of the most important players, motivating and inspiring the bowlers and fielders to raise their game and win.
The final aspect to motivating players in the field is to keep them fighting until the last. A team with confidence will do this naturally.