The “and” or “but” player

Competition between different players is fierce when it comes to selection and every arm chair critic has their own views when it comes to who should or shouldn’t be in a team for various criteria. Recently, discussions within the GKCA team has been led with a view on value an individual can add to a team, not only by his on field contributions but by what he does off it. The question is are you a “and” or a “but” player?
[[upme_private] Player A or Player B

It is difficult to make judgments on environments which you have limited access and a vague understanding of. With this in mind, many decisions made may seem to lack logic from those outside but those in the inner workings of the system are clear as to the vision of an organization and team and thus their criteria may be more than meets the eye. A contribution which makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts can often be the difference between two players.

Take for example Player A and Player B, both with equal ability as well as similar skill sets and statistics. The nod will often go to the player who ticks the boxes of the teams objectives and culture the most.

This is often found in the 3rd aspect of the game – namely fielding. Fielding often can be the difference between winning and losing and a player that can save runs and take chances is always attractive to any coach or selection panel. It is one of the most controllable aspects of the game but is very often overlooked and under practiced. A suggestion would be to become a specialist in a particular position or positions to make yourself instrumental to the team’s success – Jonty Rhodes comes to mind as an “and” player with these characteristics, adding to his primary offering to the team as a batsman by being an expert fielder.

Become an all-rounder – If you have a talent with both bat or ball it is very unlikely that you cannot add to your value to the team by becoming a player who can offer a second skill. Perhaps as a batsman it is as a holding medium pacer, a part time restrictive spinner or even as a known partnership breaker. As a bowler, it may be that your contribution at the bottom of the order can give you the nudge, whether as a batter who can hang around while the “in” batter can score the majority of the runs, or as a more consistent scorer of quick runs towards the end of the innings. Every run counts and can often be the difference between winning and losing.

Off field contribution is one of the most underestimated value that lies in a player fitting into the “and” or “but” category. We have all played with the team mate who is full of energy and passion which rubs off on the other players despite his lack of skill. He is the guy arriving early at the game, staying after a practice to help another player or coach, running on drinks not to mention his contribution to a good change room vibe during the week and on match day. On the flip side of the coin is the player who has constant issues with time management, “Bats and Leaves” at nets and regularly sulks and complains about the injustices of the game, he can often be heard “praying for rain”. A positive attitude is contagious and each behaviour of commitment to the team is an affirmative etched into the minds of fellow players, coaches and selectors.

So in conclusion, picture yourself sitting around a selection table to pick yourself or another player and see if you come up with reasons to why you should be picked above and beyond your skill, if there are reasons to why you should be left out then perhaps these are the areas that you should look at developing to give yourself a better chance of success. If you do this, you will grow AND make performances BUT if not you may see yourself on the sidelines.[/upme_private]]