From 15-20 years old, I played cricket for a local cricket team. Most weekend games were 50 or 40 overs. The midweek games were much shorter, twenty/20.
I was an opening batsmen, facing the very first ball of the innings. My sole concern was whatever happened, never get out first ball (golden duck). I largely succeeded, but I have a few ducks (0) on my record.
A particular twenty/20 game comes to mind. We batted first and I took the attack to the bowling. Crashing many boundries. My best performance as a batsman. I scored the clubs highest ever twenty/20 score for under 16s, 72 not out.
After completing our innings, I walked off the field with a huge cheer from my team mates. The opposition were downbeat because we posted a high score with the game (almost) in the bag. I was smiling, brimming with confidence. After going through the crowd I stopped near my bag, stripping off my pads and gloves. Getting ready to field.
A team mate came on over and said:
“The opposition bowling attack was terrible, anyone could have smashed them”.
My heart sunk.
I tried to stay upbeat.
What… Why… But… is my mind playing a trick on me? Was it really that good of an inning? Was the boundry small?
This is a moment I reflect on a lot. Positive feedback can boost our morale whilst negative feedback can be demoralising.
Releasing a new software, moving homes, pouring our heart into a book. There will always be feedback. Growing a thick skin helps to brush off some comments, sure. But someone will always have a bone to pick. That’s why I scope that feedback and try and put things in perspective. It’s not always easy.
Back to the game of cricket. We ended up winning very comfortably. I’m so happy that my contribution helped. The cheering from my team mates when walking off the field was beautiful. A special moment indeed.