‘Bradmanesque’ is an English adjective that is rarely known by people. But ask any avid cricket fan and he will immediately tell you the meaning of the word. The adjective is a tribute to the great Sir Don Bradman, whose batting average of 99.94 is unmatched in the history of the game. Many pundits also consider him to be the greatest ever sportsperson to have ever lived. But what was so special about his performances that made people immortalize them in the form of a new adjective? The answer is consistency. Here, we will try to decipher the secret behind consistency.
We require consistency in all fields of life. Consistency separates the very best from the good. Even though we will limit our discussion of consistency to sport and cricketing examples. The major takeaways from this discussion will be applicable everywhere.
According to many greats, consistency doesn’t come out of the blue. Rather, it depends upon doing the basics correctly and mastering them over a period. When the legendary AB De Villiers was asked about the secret to his 360-degree batting, he had said that “I just focus on doing the basics correctly and since I have mastered them, I can innovate according to the need.” It often takes years of hard work and effort to really master the basics. All successful people in their respective fields do their basics right, it is something that is common to them.
The readers might wonder, the greats have some extraordinary abilities which the ordinary folks like you and me can never have. It is true that some individuals are more talented than others, but talent is not the only determinant of consistency. One of the most important things for ensuring consistency is following the process and not worrying about the results. MS Dhoni had once talked about how following the process helps him to get superb results. Rasmus Ankersen, a Danish author has done a case study of six very small regions of the world which consistently produce great sportspeople in their respective sports. His findings are described in his book titled ‘The Gold Mine Effect’. He has also highlighted the importance of following the process in their consistent success at the Olympics.
There is one last piece for solving this puzzle of consistency. This last piece is the mindset of the individual. Successful people who have shown remarkable consistency have often talked about ‘getting into the zone’. What is this zone then? It is typically defined as a mental state where one is completely focused on the task, has an empty mind, and doesn’t worry about the results. Virat Kohli had once stated in an interview that when he is batting, he sees only the ball and the rest is a complete blur. This is an example of ‘getting into the zone’ and we all have seen what terrific consistency Virat has achieved over the years. Common people like us also experience this feeling sometimes and when we enter the ‘zone’ everything happens just perfectly for us.
Finally, one must always consider the fact that there is no single formula or method to ensure consistency. Apart from the basic points mentioned above, you are free to choose your own method. Trust yourself, your process and figure out what works best for you. Remember, Sehwag and Dravid achieved great results by using totally different methods and yet they both are considered as legends of the game.