In India, it is often said that cricket is a religion that unites us all. And why not? Just like we have grown from playing gully cricket with childhood friends to booking turfs to play box cricket with colleagues, our love for the sport is also evergrowing.
The chant of “Sachin! Sachin!” still rings in our ears, and the World Cup-winning stroke by MSD is a permanent highlight in our minds. And did you know that the records for both – the most runs and the most wickets in women’s one-day international cricket are held by Indians? Till the time you guess, we will talk some more about cricket.
Why are we such a cricketing-crazy nation? We really don’t know. What we do know is that playing cricket gives children an opportunity to learn something new. While it is primarily a sport that involves physical activity, it also has a lot to teach children about STEM. Not just that, they also develop other life skills as they play. This is one of the most accurate examples of the #PowerOfPlay, and in this article, we will explore how playing cricket can help children build skills.
The physics on the field
When it comes to cricket, physics plays a major role. Children can learn about the principles of physics when they bowl, bat, or field. When bowling, children can learn about the force required to throw the ball and how the release angle can affect the trajectory of the ball. They can also learn about velocity, momentum, and acceleration. In addition, when batting, children can learn about the impact of the bat on the ball, the velocity required to hit a boundary, and the importance of timing. Fielding also provides an opportunity to learn about physics, as children can learn about the force required to catch a ball and the impact of the ball on the hand.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #1: If you’re fielding at silly point, and the batter is in good form, make a U-turn and duck right after the ball is bowled to avoid getting injured. 😜
Scores, stats, and math
Mathematics is an important subject that has many applications in cricket. For example, children can can learn to keep score, calculate averages, and track statistics. They can also learn about angles, measurements, and geometric concepts when playing cricket. When bowling, they need to be able to calculate the best angle to throw the ball and where to aim it. Similarly, when batting, children need to calculate the distance they need to hit the ball to reach a certain point. Fielding also provides an opportunity to learn about mathematics, as children need to calculate the speed of the ball and the distance they need to run to catch it.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #2: Never try to understand how the Duckworth-Lewis method works. Trust us, we’ve tried and still haven’t come close. If you know, please let us know. 🤔
The human body and its ability
Biology is the study of living organisms and their interactions with the environment. When it comes to cricket, biology plays a major role. Children can learn about the biology of the human body and how it affects performance. For example, they can learn about the importance of proper nutrition, hydration, and rest in order to perform at their best. They can also learn about the importance of warm-ups and cool-downs to prevent injury. In addition, children can learn about the biology of the cricket ball and how it affects the game. They can learn about the materials used to make the ball and how it changes over time.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #3: While playing in an undulated space, between letting the ball hit the boundary and a broken elbow, it is perfectly alright choose the former. 🤕
The best of tech in cricket
Technology is an important aspect of cricket, especially at the professional level. Children can learn about the use of technology in cricket, such as the use of the latest gadgets: slow-motion cameras or spidey cams, or the use of AI technology in the form of ball tracking during DRS. They can also learn about the use of technology in equipment, such as the use of lightweight, durable materials in bats and balls.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #4: No technology in the world can stop neighbours from shouting at you if you break their windowpane with your sixer. 😡
A way to develop social skills
Cricket offers an opportunity for children to socialize with their peers. It encourages teamwork, communication, and leadership. Children learn to work together to achieve a common goal, which is to win the game. They also learn to communicate with each other, whether it’s to strategize, field, run between the wickets, motivate, or celebrate. Moreover, cricket offers a chance for children to develop leadership skills. They can take on roles like captain, coach, or umpire, which teach them to make decisions, manage conflicts, and take responsibility.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #5: The player who owns the bat might want to take an extra turn to bat. It’s wiser to decide the rules of the game beforehand. 🙄
The importance of fitness
Cricket is a physical sport that requires a lot of movement. It provides an excellent opportunity for children to get some exercise and develop their physical fitness. Running, jumping, throwing, and catching are all part of the game, and they help children improve their stamina, coordination, and agility. Moreover, cricket is a great way to engage in physical activity.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #6: It’s perfectly fine if the ones don’t get converted to twos. Not all of us are Smriti Mandhana or Virat Kohli. 😬
The game of brains
Cricket requires children to use their brains as much as their bodies. It encourages them to think strategically, analyze situations, and make quick decisions. Children learn to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents and adjust their tactics accordingly. They also learn to adapt to changing circumstances, such as the weather, the terrain, or the skill level of the players. Cricket teaches children to think on their feet and be creative in their approach.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #6: Not everything that cricket teaches has a funny angle to it. 🙃
Cricket teaches children the importance of sportsmanship. They learn to respect their opponents, accept defeat gracefully, and celebrate victory with humility. They also learn to play by the rules, follow the spirit of the game, and resolve conflicts peacefully. Cricket provides an opportunity for children to learn important life lessons about fairness, respect, and integrity.
PlayShifu cricketing tip #7: Don’t celebrate right away if the batter gets out on the first ball of the innings. It might have been a trial ball. 🤗
Cricket offers many benefits for children. It provides an opportunity for socialization, physical fitness, mental agility, numeracy and literacy development, and sportsmanship. Children learn to work together, use their brains, develop academic skills, and be good sports. Additionally, playing cricket can teach children a lot about STEM. From physics to technology, cricket has a lot to offer in terms of STEM education. By participating in the sport, children can experience these principles firsthand and gain a better understanding of them. So, the next time your child plays cricket, encourage them to think about all the things they are learning. They may just find a new appreciation for this beloved pastime.
P.S. Former Indian captain Mithali Raj has scored the most number of runs (7805) in Women’s ODIs, and Jhulan Goswami has taken the most wickets in the women’s ODI (255). A pat on your back if you knew this!