I don’t like cricket oh no I love it!

Lyrics courtesy of 10CC

If you’re Indian then this is probably what you’re singing at the moment. India are the ICC Cricket World Cup Champions for 2011 as a result of a dazzling batting performance from MSD or Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian captain and wicket keeper.

Going into the match Dhoni had been playing poorly. A run of low batting scores had not helped the Indian cause on many an occasion; yet, they had got to the final on the back of some memorable victories: Australia and their fiercest rivals on many a level, ****stan.

Things, in the immortal words of  Benny Hill, ‘didn’t go the way [India] planned’ and they were starting to look like they would not overhaul Sri Lanka’s total to win. And then Dhoni came in to bat – higher up the batting order than he had been batting in previous matches – to the shock of probably a billion Indian followers and quite a few non-Indian followers too!

What has all this got to do with my blog post for this week I hear you cry? Assuming you’re still reading this and the mere mention of cricket didn’t send you to sleep it comes down to the title of this post: Cometh the hour… All the clichés that one can think of apply here to Dhoni: ‘Stepping up to the mark’, ‘Rising to the occasion’, ‘Being equal to the challenge’ and probably many more. Dhoni scored 91 runs off far fewer deliveries than that: an amazing feat given his poor performances in recent games; India won the match.

How is it that some people can ’step up to the mark’ and others are unwilling? How is it that Dhoni could overcome such a poor run of form (please excuse the pun) and execute a brilliant batting performance? To my knowledge Dhoni hasn’t been asked that question so what possible insights can we offer? After all, if Dhoni can do this ‘when it mattered most’ what can we do ‘when it matters most’ to us?

I suspect the following circumstances existed in Dhoni during his match-winning innings:

  • Technical ability
  • Self-belief and confidence in his ability
  • Utter determination and focus

Perhaps, no surprises there. Once more clichés abound such as ‘Genius is 90% perspiration’. Dhoni had the necessary skills as a world-class batsman; it just took to the final for his self-belief to agree that he had what was needed within him. It’s the utter determination that I’m most interested in with this post. “I will not get out!” might have been the sort of thing Dhoni was saying to himself. He knew he carried the expectant weight of a billion fanatical Indian supporters on his shoulders: something that would either be a resource and strength to him or a devastating crush.

Determination to support his team-mate and ‘god’ in India: Tendulka who had previously failed to make a good score in the match, would certainly have been a contributive factor. Dhoni famously commented that for years Tendulka had carried India and now it was their turn to carry him (they literally carried Tendulka around the ground at the end of the match). Dhoni could not only bear the weight of a billion followers and Tendulka’s failure to achieve a big score on his shoulders but he could find the form that had eluded him and win the World Cup for India.

What’s eluding you at the moment? It might be something’s there that you don’t want such as a lack of self-belief or confidence, little determination or perhaps something else besides. I can’t promise you you’ll become a World Cup winner like Dhoni but I can help you unhook those things that are preventing you from being how you want to be. Curious? Good. Contact me by clicking here.