Ban the ‘shoulds’- returning to cricket after 20 years.

When I was 15 my mum set up a women’s cricket team, she loves cricket. All those years of facing her brother’s spin bowling in the kitchen had paid off!

We were a motley crew.

Always struggling to find 11 players, sometimes borrowing a fielder from the opposition. We had to play early on Sundays to make way for men’s cricket in the afternoon, and whites designed by men, for men, and worn by women is not a great look! And yet we loved it. A group of girls and women coming together to try and score some runs, and sometimes not very many. Then university started and I stopped playing cricket, there were other distractions.

Until last month, when after twenty something years I found myself at women’s cricket training.

Cricket was not in the plan, in any plan. The plan was to start doing some exercise, probably yoga because it’s what everyone else is doing, I like yoga outfits, I can book it online, turn up and then leave again.

I should do yoga. 

Why am I not going to yoga? Yoga has not stuck. 

I’ve coached enough people to know that ‘shoulds’ don’t stick, there is no glue in a should. All the excuses I’ve been using for yoga - mostly I’m too busy - have not featured once with cricket, in fact I seem to be going out of my way to play and go to practice.

Try saying - I should try something new versus I could do something new. It feels so different, ‘shoulds’ are flat, they do not result in any action that sticks. I now find myself saying, I could buy a new helmet, I could meet my friend at the nets to practice, I could chat with other women and see if anyone else would like to play. I could stop travelling on Fridays so I don’t miss practice!

What ‘shoulds’ are you saying to yourself, what are the ‘coulds’ that you would love to embrace? 

I hear you, maybe it’s not cricket, maybe it’s not even exercise, but I bet there is an area of your life where if you got out of your own way you would do it. ‘Shoulds’ get in our way, and we let them.

Maybe it’s something from years ago, or something completely new. I don’t know what it is about cricket that I seem to love - the familiarity, the fact that being keen and enthusiastic is enough, that on a summers day cricket clubs are great places to hang out!

Banish the shoulds, embrace the coulds.

Give it a go, you might just find yourself loving it, and maybe like me you are now practising something new - like air cricket shots in the kitchen! 

My son asked me yesterday when I would be playing in the World Cup, that’s how much he believes in me, he seems to have forgotten about me getting run-out in my first match!

Sally Powell MA PCC is a Leadership Coach and Trainer, and co-founder of Art User. Sally is passionate about helping others to realise their full potential, and knows the power that amazing conversations can have on unlocking new perspectives and transforming lives.