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  • Writer's pictureAustin Coutinho

Image Makeover & Success in Cricket

Discover the secret to success in cricket as we explore the importance of image makeover for players. Learn how confidence and self-assurance can make a difference in reaching the top level. Uncover the three essential steps to rebrand your image, set goals, know your strengths and weaknesses, and master the art of self-marketing. From achieving cricket career objectives to understanding the impact of body language and dressing, this guide unveils the path to a successful cricketing journey. Embrace the power of a pleasing personality and let your talent shine on the grand stage of cricket.

There are many cricketers out there who are very talented but do not get a look-in at the highest levels. The reason: they do not display confidence as perceived by their peers, senior players and selectors. And then there are players who just aren’t good enough to play at competitive levels, but find a place at the top because of their bearing and the image they present of themselves. How often have we seen the latter happen and the embarrassing manner in which the individuals, the impostors if we may call them that, are then seen for what they are and pushed out of the squad? Image is said to be the depiction of yourself as seen by the rest of the world. What sportspersons, especially cricketers, need to realise is that your ‘external’ image is as important as your ‘internal’ image. Pretending to be confident and self-assured can be short-lived. A cricketer who works hard on his technical skills, fitness and his mental skills also has to work hard on his ‘internal’ image to be seen as a confident person. Most of us look in the mirror a few times in the morning and that’s the image we carry of ourselves through the day. The mirror usually lies. We see what we want to see in our reflection in the mirror; we use filters to enhance our image. People however don’t perceive us the way we look at ourselves. Wasn’t it Robert Burns who wrote, “O wad some Power the giftie gie us; To see oursels as ithers see us!” (Oh, what a gift God would give us; if we could see ourselves as others see us!) It isn’t easy. But you can surely work on getting acquainted with your true self, work on improving upon how people perceive you and also market your image like a brand. To do that successfully, you will have to look upon yourself as a product! The three steps to rebranding your image are: 1. Know your objectives – What are your goals? What is important for you in life? How would you like people to perceive you? 2. Know your product – Do SWOT analysis to know yourself better. Find out what makes you happy. 3. Learn how to market the product - Self-marketing is a skill that can be learnt and, believe me, it pays dividends.

1. Know your objectives: Take a diary or a journal and note down your short- and long-term goals, in your personal life and in your cricket career. With a lot of honesty, ask yourself and then note down how many of those goals are achievable and how many are just dreams. Don’t reject all your dreams easily but ask yourself if you have the mental strength to pursue those dreams. Nothing is really impossible if you try.

Next, take one of your goals which you believe is a dream but can be achieved if you work hard enough. On your diary, write down the goal, in bold, across the page. Now make two columns under that title, one for ‘assets’ – traits that can help you achieve that goal and another for ‘weaknesses’ – traits that can hold you back. Once you know what your assets and weaknesses are, make a business-like plan to eliminate those negatives and achieve your goal. Setting goals, even on a daily basis, helps you become more action-oriented. If you don’t know where you are going, you reach nowhere. If you know your destination (goals), all you need to do is to plan your route.

2. Know your product: Now that you know your strengths and weaknesses, write down your achievements – don’t be modest about them – and your abilities and talents.

Next, ask yourself some questions and write them down: 1. What are your ambitions? How do they differ from your ambitions as a 10-year-old? Are your ambitions now those that your parents set for you? 2. Write down three words that your coach and three words that your teammates would use to describe you. 3. Name three people you admire most. 4. What makes you happy the most? 5. What makes you angry? 6. What is the one principle you would consider worth fighting for? (Of course, you can add some of your own!) Knowing about your abilities and talents, your principles in life and what you stand for builds that inner confidence in you. Gaining that inner confidence is the first step to marketing a ‘product’ that you know is good and you have faith in. Knowing what you are good at makes marketing those qualities a lot less difficult.

3. Market the product: Effective self-marketing happens after you understand yourself and your goals. If you want to find out what effective self-marketing is, find out that player who is always in the right place at the right time, and doing and saying the right things when the coach or skipper is around. That’s not luck; marketing is a skill and you can learn it too.

Did you know that it takes only four seconds to create a first impression and that it actually takes four years to correct it if the first impression is unfavourable? Therefore, it is important to be aware of the impression we make on our first meeting. It has been found that only 7% of our verbal message has an impact on people, whereas our tone of voice and visual messages make 38% and 55% impact respectively. Body language counts! The main areas of visual impact are: 1. Facial expression – eye contact, smile etc. 2. Body language – posture and gestures etc. 3. Dress – what do you wear? Do you like uniformity or do you prefer an individual style? 4. Grooming – hair, perfume etc. Take control of your visual messages and you will be well on your way to developing a pleasing personality. Remember to keep an open mind, be receptive to change and be prepared to work on your skills and of course, develop new skills.

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