We all know how powerful sport is for early childhood development, Cricket is one of the most unique sports in the world and provides a much greater scope that many other sports with regards to development. Whether you love it or hate it, whether it is exciting or completely boring, Cricket should be the first sport your child is introduced to.
Cricket allows for both. The individual performances contribute to the overall team performance, and different aspects of the game provide more leverage between the two. For example, as a batsman, you are more individually focused, even if you are playing for your team, it is ultimately you that is the final decision maker, the shot you play, the way you play it, the strategy involved, now bear in mind that the way you bat may change depending who is at the crease with you. But at the end of the day, you are on your own when the bowler runs up at you.
When you are bowling however, it’s your job as an individual to bowl the right areas, and place the field correctly, but you need the team in the field to do the rest, either by stopping the ball or taking the catch. Cricket is uniquely a team and individual sport at the same time.
Match vs practise conditions
When you think of soccer or rugby for example, the practicing conditions and the match conditions are the same – you are on a field, the dimensions are the same, your position and role are the same. But Cricket conditions are always different, during practice you are in a net, and during a match you are on the field. It’s very difficult and rare to combine the two, it’s possible, but difficult.
More variables than any other game
As we discussed above, practice and playing conditions are different. but that is just the beginning, the wicket you play on will be different every time you play a new fixture, different areas, changing weather patterns and groundsman techniques ensure you are playing a unique game every time.
The ball may be different to the previous opposition, or different to the ball you use at practice, overcast weather conditions provide different game scenarios, there may be smaller boundaries with quick out field that change the fielding strategy.
Your equipment and the type of bat you are using affects your effectiveness at the crease, different bowlers have various actions, heights, ability and pace, and what’s more is that each ball that is bowled lands in a different area which translates to a different shot being needed or strategy being implemented. Each cricket game in many ways is completely unique to the last game you played.
Soccer and rugby are systematic, your field is the same, your combinations are the same, your position most of the time is the same.
Enhanced discipline and thinking
Because of the amount of technical know-how and ever changing game scenarios, decisions are being made faster, learning how to think develops quicker, and disciple with goal setting is introduced sooner. A batsman at international level has less than .5 of a second to make a decision and execute a particular shot, all at the same time of ensuring a favourable result.
Focus and concentration needs to be at the forefront of every ball bowled, with the exception of being in the dugout – then you can relax slightly.
The duration is also longer than most sports forcing the athlete to stay engaged for longer periods of time, which builds patience and perseverance in a young player.
This article is not saying that your child needs to play for their country, this article is giving you insight into the development benefits of playing this game. Encourage your child to play cricket from early on, even if they drop it later – the learning and development has already taken place and will only add value on a long term basis