Ricky Ponting’s Gift- Finding The Gaps
April 22, 2022
As I was writing the Blogpost yesterday about being clear about the destination, I also remembered another interesting sporting story. So I wanted to share that story today.
This story is about Ricky Ponting, considered by many as one of the all-time greats in Cricket. He is one of only three cricketers to have scored over 13000 test runs, with 70 centuries across all formats of the game. Ricky Ponting had one unique strength that all cricketing experts often refer to. He had this innate ability to consistently hit the ball into the gaps when other players struggled.
In an interview, someone asked him to share the secret to his gift and ability to find the gaps in the field when batting. To which he famously said, “Every batsman surveys the field before taking strike, and usually the fielders and their positions get imprinted on his mind. They can almost see every fielder in their mind’s eye. But in my head, I don’t see the fielders. I only see the gaps!”
And this – as his tally of runs suggests – was what made him extraordinary.
There is a big lesson for all of us in Ricky Ponting’s story.
Don’t Focus on the obstacles. Look instead for the opportunities.
Life, in many ways, is like a game of Cricket. We all want to score runs and win. But there will be challenges and obstacles (like the fielders in Cricket) that will block our progress. Unfortunately, many times when we get stuck, we get obsessed with the hurdle, thinking only about how to overcome it. In the bargain, we fail to notice the opportunities or alternatives that potentially exist in every situation. It’s like the batsman focussing on the fielder. The more he thinks of the fielder to avoid, the more likely he will hit straight to the fielder.
Instead, like Ricky Ponting, if we focus on the gaps, i.e., the opportunities, overcoming the hurdles will be easier.