Beat Your Opponent Before You Step On To The Pitch

From: Ian Canaway

How To Use Body Language To
Give Yourself An Edge

I’ve a guest article for you today, it’s written by David Hinchliffe.

Who do you think is in top in the following situations?

Imagine you are in the field and you take a wicket. The new batsman comes in to hand clapping and renewed enthusiasm from the fielders. He looks unkempt, his equipment is old and he has a nervous look on his face.

Now imagine you are coming out to bat. You are in good form and stride out confidently. The fielders are quiet and look a little disinterested.

On the surface, both scenarios seem to have clear signs of who is on top yet no words have been said.

In the former the fielding team will be given a boost by the batters body language, in the latter it will be the batsman who will feel encouraged.

This shows the importance of body language in cricket.

While we all have an innate ability to understand body language, good players can use it to their advantage by becoming experts in hiding their own true feeling and reading those of others.

Think of yourself as a great poker player. If you can get into the mind of your opponent while preventing him from getting to you then the advantage is yours.

There are 5 types of body language and 1 related type. Here is how to use each one to your advantage.

1. Appearance. Everyone makes assumptions about players based on how they look. A tall, strong looking player with expensive kit and freshly pressed whites is assumed to be a better player for example. You can use this by making sure you look your best at all times as well as not making any assumptions about opposing players.

2. Posture. A bowler with his head down and shoulders slumped is a terrible sign for the fielding side. Be aware of your posture and look to stand tall have your head up and shoulders back even in the midst of disaster.

3. Gestures. Cricketers hand movements often reveal what they are thinking without realising it. Some are naturally more expressive and some are better at reading gestures than others.Become a student of hand gestures and you may get an insight into the opposition as well as not revealing your own hand in the field.

4. Physical Contact. Everything from a handshake to a hug has meaning. Using the right sort of touch can reassure a player or boost their confidence. If you are captain or senior player, know your team. Some will want no more than a handshake, others needs anarm round the shoulder.

5. Expressions. Its very hard to hide your facial expressions as you can your overall body language. When you pick up on your opponents expressions, make sure your team know what is going on and use it to their advantage.

And the related type:

Proxemics. This is to do with how much distance is between people. This is why the huddle that test sides use is effective its designed to bring the team together at a unit.You can also get close to opposition players to make them feel uncomfortable.


David Hinchliffe is an ECB coach, sports graduate and owner of If you want even more cricket tips on fitness, nutrition, psychology and tactics then subscribe for free today.

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All the best,

Ian Canaway

P.S. Now go play some cricket!

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  1. Masi says:

    All of this is so true! And it helps a lot, because my team has lost plenty of games because of a poor body language.

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