Cricket Psychology: England – Integrating Mavericks!

Cricket PsychologyDoes every successful team need a Maverick player in it? No – probably not. You can win collectively with organization, discipline, and team-spirit. But a Maverick player brings something else into a team.

They bring the X Factor,. The ability to do things differently to everyone else. And it’s this sense of ‘difference’ that can make the integration of a Maverick into a team, both rewarding and challenging.

A team is made up of a set of individuals. And the stronger the individuals are, the more that the leadership need to help the strengths of those individuals be allied towards the benefit of the team.

Thus when you have a Maverick player in the group, they should be given a very clear job description. That is, what they have permission to do. And also the things they need to watch out for.

So what are the permissions relevant for the Maverick:

1: To uphold a motto of ‘The Impossible Is Nothing’.

2: To have permission to fail…the Maverick by their nature will be bold and take risks. And those risks won’t always come off. But they can’t succumb to inhibition or fear of failure. Or face consequences from management if they make a mistake. Unless it’s reckless!

3: To have permission to find your own solution to problems…the Maverick needs to know that they are trusted to work things out for themselves.

4: To create an atmosphere of belief around you…the Maverick, by virtue of their ability, can change the tamdynamic in terms of the positive way players think about themseves and the opposition.

5: To show leadership in the face of adversity…when the chips are down, the team needs the Maverick to stand up, be fearless, and show the way out of trouble.

6: Permission to express strong views in team-meetings…the Maverick will likely be very clear about how things should be done. Therefore they need to know that they are heard, and their contribution is appreciated and valued.

7: To take an interest in the development of other players, less talented than yourself…the Maverick is generally a charismatic, insightful player. And some of those insights can rub off on the others, if the Maverick gives of themselves, so that others succeed.

So these permissions give the Maverick freedom to express themselves. And in return for being understood, they should naturally want to give back to the team and leadership.

However, because of their individualistic nature, the Maverick should also know what behaviours can impact negatively on the team. These could be;

1: Beware of selfishness…the Maverick can sometimes put their own needs before that of the team, and forget that they are simply one part of the success machine.

2: Don’t allow your supreme confidence to become arrogance…the Maverick needs bucket fulls of confidence to play the way they do. And with it come success. Therefore the Maverick can sometimes let that success go to their heads, and take things for granted.

3: Don’t think that you are a one man team…If the Maverick is significantly more talented then the rest of the team, they can sometimes look down on the others, and assume that all success is a result of their own efforts!

4: Just because you exude certainty, doesn’t mean that you are always right…the Maverick, because of their well-developed sense of certainty, has to learn that others may have a different opinion to themselves. And to be open-minded about taking that opinion on board, when it’s right to do so.

So with clear permissions and reminders, the talented Maverick can play a huge part in leading a team to success. But without these fundamental guidelines, the management can find themselves trying to reign in the Maverick leading to mis-trust, resentment and a brooding atmosphere., that will upset the balances of the group.

Posted in Cricket Psychology, Sports Psychology Blog.