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Effective Communication in Sports

Discuss about the Effective Communication in Cricket and Empire.

According to Cotterill (2016), a team that is filled with the most capable players will not be able to hit the winning note if they do not communicate on and off the field. The average players as the opponents may have an upper hand over the others if they can put their thoughts across to all the team members. This goes for every team game and cricket is of no exception. Effective communication in the format of cricket is very important so that the teams become competitive in nature and be successful in all their endeavors. The coaches and the support staffs also play an important role in the communication process that is off the field both verbally and non-verbally. The notion of the game being courteous in nature is no longer applicable in the modern cricketing world. The players now have started to express their emotions openly on the field, which takes the excitement level of the game to new heights.

A team comprising of league’s best players with poor communication would splash in unevenness, whereas, a team having average performing players having unblemished communication ability would present themselves as title contenders every year. In sports, effective communication is necessary that quality teams should have to be successful in the long-run, starting from coaches, team leaders to the role players. Every member of the team needs to be on the same page.

-The Individual: In sports, every individual member has a unique kind of personality. However, this personality would not feasible through Myers-Briggs Personality test, developed focusing on theories of Carl Jung in 1921. At times, a player might unsurprisingly consider motivated after a punitive action, whereas another might feel demotivated for the same, and all communication made to them from there on would be supported on their type of personality.

-Time Frame: People say Rome was not build in a day, same goes with formation of teams too. Great teams are never shaped suddenly. At certain times, it can take years to crystallize together as a team, forming a solid attachment of communication through verbal and non-verbal ways, before the team converse and implement the same on field. Team coaches can regularly organize a part of every training session to be exclusively devoted to communication.

-On the Field: Effectual communication on the field fluctuates significantly from sport to sport. For example, in cricket there is existence of constant communication going on in the field.  The captain and the vice-captain constantly bring in field adjustments according to the need and plan of the bowler. However, in baseball, communication is minimal and players act on their instincts and learning in training. 

Communication in cricket

-Non-verbal: As per the Association for Applied Sports Psychology, 75% of human communication is based on non-verbal actions. At times viewers or spectators may witness hand signals and chain of signs used to designate what a player is believed to do on field. Coaches and team captains should make sure that each player has memorized the signals and implement them in a way so that the opposition does not figure it out what a particular signal means.

Cricket is a game that requires a lot of thinking. The process of communication in a team event includes persuasion, evaluation, information transfer, motivation and the ability to solve problems pertaining to the team. This helps the communication process to serve up more than one purpose at the same time. The game of cricket shows the importance of the process of communication with all the fellow members of the team. It is needed to express the views of the team members with an experienced player in the team who has more knowledge regarding the communication pattern of the team. The process of communication followed in a team has to be precise, concise and to the point so that it has the maximum effect on the members of the team.

In the field: An important area of communication in the field is between the players and their captain. Especially, the bowlers should have a two-way communication with their captain, making sure that field equivalents the length and line the bowling is aspiring for. For instance, an away swing bowler may need a square leg to feel secure even though the ball hardly travels there, only if the bowler is not bowling poorly. The bowler and the captain need to be on the same page so that the adjusted plan can be taken into account for such a foible. Players need to have an eye contact with the skipper as much as possible. This makes easy for the skipper to make the changes in the field easily. The wicketkeeper has the most important role in field communication. The keeper is in the best position to make field adjustments in correct angles, informing captains about bowlers pace, bounce and movement (MacDonald 2015).

Batting: Communication while bating becomes twofold. One is the two batsmen in the middle having conversations while the other is the captain or the coach communicating with the batters from the sidelines. Batsmen need to call clear to avoid miscommunication and run-outs. A quick word like “push the fielder” or “two there” is common in cricket. Moreover, they should talk between over to analyze the match situation and things like taking on the poor fielder or a bowler that is relatively easy to face. Batsman can defend each other’s weakness too by talking between over. A lazy runner is never keen on quick singles, or a bad player of seam might want to take on a spinner as much as possible. These are certain effective communication processes that batters implement while bating.

Examples of Good Communication

One of the major communications happens between the captain and the players in a team. The key area of communication happens between the captain and the bowlers in a team where in the bowlers have to make sure that the field has been set according to the line and the length the bowler will apply to the current batsmen (Sissons and Stoddart 2014). This is a very simple process because the captain already has a notion of where the bowler will bowl and the type of field setting that he might require to prevent the opponent team from scoring runs. In some cases, the bowler may ask for a change in the field setting as he may have a different plan in his mind, which needs to be conveyed to the captain so that the change takes place (Smith et al. 2016). For example, Bob Massie always needed to feel sheltered by field placements and adjustments from his captain before being comfortable enough to bowl a full-length delivery, allowing the cherry to swing. He was in the habbit of communicating with his captain regularly about the same.

The fielders need to maintain an eye contact with the captain at all times so that they can receive the message that has been communicated by the bowler to the captain or vice versa. The fielders who are on the far ends of the field needs to be well versed in the hand signals that the captain wants to communicate with them and set themselves according to the need of the captain (Shah 2016). Team huddles is an action of a team gathering in tight circles to motivate or strategize before or during the game. The team captain plays an important role in inspiring his fellow teammates to attain success. Team huddles in cricket was made popular by the Indian cricket team during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. The team used the huddle to great perfection and success. This small group movement brought big results for the team during that tournament.

The role of the coaches is to communicate the expectations, goals and standards before his team plays each game. The coaches also instruct, encourage, organize and provide the teams with the feedbacks that they receive from the governing bodies. The role of the coach is to hear patiently to the frustrations and feelings of the players so that they can lift the morale up of the team. The process of effective communication not only depends on the content of the message but also the way on how the message is interpreted by the receiver (Smith, Figgins and Sellars 2016).

Captain and the Fielders

Sledging in cricket can be stated as a practice where some players seeking to gain advantage over opposition players through verbally insulting or intimidating them. The purpose of sledging has always been to weaken the concentration of the opposition, forcinh him to make mistakes. Once in an Ashes test match when Ian Botham took guard, Marsh greeted him to the crease with words, “So how is your wife and my kids?” Then in a one-day game, Australian batsman Steve Waugh nicked one behind to the keeper’s gloves off the bowling of Michael Holding, but refused to walk off, Holding went past Waugh muttering, “Once a convict, always a convict”. Sledging sometimes becomes excessively ugly for the game of cricket. Players losing control in field are a difficult bunch to handle. In the year 200-07, sledging became a fiasco in the world of international media and cricket when Indian ace spinner Harbhajan Singh was accused of allegedly abusing racially to Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds. Harbhajan Singh has been accused many times on field and has been handed penalty and fines for his offence.

According to MacDonald (2015), it usually occurs when an on field player or a referee does not perform up to the standards that he is capable of which results in that team ending up as losers or drawing up the game. It is a barrier in the communication process as the players for an exchange of large payments deliberately makes the team lose in the game of cricket. The player does not actively take part in the effort that is required for the team to succeed. He waits for an opportunity to hinder the process of the game as he was guided in that way. Some examples can be the bowling of a number of no balls in an over as it will help the agent to make money from others by placing bets repeatedly. This helps the agent to pay the player with whom he had made a setting for that particular match. In the year 2000, cricket’s biggest scandal in match fixing was exposed when South African captain Hansie Cronje accepted he received money to throw matches. Soon after this incident, other players from different countries were drawn in like Indian batsman Mohammad Azharuddin and Pakistan’s Saleem Malik. Since this saga, assertions of  fixing with a new addition of spot-fixing have yielded intermittently. In 2010, match fixing scandal raised its head again when three Pakistan players were taken in and interrogated by the Scotland Yard and suspended by the International cricket Council over charges related to spot-fixing (Smith, Figgins and Sellars 2016).

The Players and Coach Communication

According to Ahmed et al. (2015), the verbal communication amongst the players in a cricket team happens off the field mostly where the team comes together and discusses the strategies that they need to take up to win the next game that they have. They also discuss the problems of the key players who have a major impact on the overall performance of the team. The team tries to motivate those players and help them in improving their performance by giving them all the help that they need to recover from the setback. On the field, the chance of communication verbally is very rare but it does happen sometimes like before the match starts, the fielding team forms a huddle and revises the strategies again that they have formulated against their opponents. In between the matches, the breaks that take place help the team to regroup and discuss the plans that they need to carry the game forward keeping the goal of winning at the end of the game.

According to Hari and Wilscy (2014), non-verbal communication happens mostly from the moment the game starts. The members of the team are constantly on the process of communication with the respective team captain so that they remain updated about the necessary ideas that are being implemented during the match. These communications are mostly channeled down to the other members through the hand gestures and the body languages, which the entire team has to be well versed with. This helps the members to carry out the ideas that have been bought to their notice. The idea of strategically placing a fielder at a certain place to make the batsman confuse is done simply by sending a small gesture to the fielder the captain wants it to be conveyed.

This report helped in understanding the communication process that is required in the game of cricket. The players need to be constantly communicating with each other in an effective manner so that they can achieve their target that is to be the ultimate winner at the end of the game. The communication between the bowlers and the captain is very essential as it helps to keep a check on the score that the opponent scores. The role of the coach is also very important as it helps the team to be motivated during the times when they under perform. The coach, through a proper communication process can lift up the spirits of the players and make them ready for the next matches that they will be playing in the future. Thus, the messages have a strong impact on the mindset of the players. Thus, effective communication plays a very important role for the team to be successful in each endeavor that they undertake.

Reference List

Ahmed, A., Asawal, M., Khan, M.J. and Cheema, H.M., 2015, June. A wearable wireless sensor for real time validation of bowling action in cricket. In Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks (BSN), 2015 IEEE 12th International Conference on (pp. 1-5). IEEE.

Cotterill, S., 2016. Developing Leadership Skills in Sport: A Case Study of Elite Cricketers. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1(1-4), pp.16-25.

Georgiadou, L., Willis, A. and Canavan, S., 2015. ‘An outfield at a cricket game’: Integrating support provisions in counsellor education. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 15(4), pp.289-297.

Hari, R. and Wilscy, M., 2014, December. Event detection in cricket videos using intensity projection profile of Umpire gestures. In India Conference (INDICON), 2014 Annual IEEE (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Hobson, R.F., 2013. Forms of feeling: The heart of psychotherapy. Routledge.

Holsti, K., 2016. Hindrances to understanding in International Relations. In Kalevi Holsti: A Pioneer in International Relations Theory, Foreign Policy Analysis, History of International Order, and Security Studies (pp. 79-95). Springer International Publishing.

James, C.L.R., 2013. Beyond a boundary. Duke University Press.

MacDonald, D.C., 2015. Performance analysis of fielding and wicket-keeping in cricket to inform strength and conditioning practice (Doctoral dissertation, Auckland University of Technology).

Neville, T.J., Salmon, P.M., Read, G.J. and Kalloniatis, A.C., 2016. Play on or call a foul: testing and extending distributed situation awareness theory through sports officiating. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 17(1), pp.80-103.

Shah, P., 2016. Measuring Fielding Performance in Cricket. Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism, 23(2), pp.113-114.

Sissons, R. and Stoddart, B., 2014. Cricket and Empire (RLE Sports Studies): The 1932-33 Bodyline Tour of Australia (Vol. 10). Routledge.

Smith, M., Young, D., Figgins, S. and Arthur, C., 2016. Transformational Leadership in Elite Sport: A Qualitative Analysis of Effective Leadership Behaviors in Cricket. The Sport Psychologist, pp.1-40.

Smith, M.J., Figgins, S.G. and Sellars, C.N., 2016. 15 Antecedents and impacts of effective and inspirational coach communication. The Psychology of Sports Coaching: Research and Practice, p.218.

Wright, R.K., 2014. Tourism and cricket: travels to the boundary.

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