Lessons on Balance from the Cricket Field

Practicing cricket yesterday, I became acutely aware of the importance of my balance while I was batting. Too much of my weight on the front foot, just before the ball was delivered, and I would rush at the ball. Too much weight to the offside and I would struggle to play any ball on leg stump. My challenge was to bring my weight back, from front to back foot and from off to leg side.

This translates well into my life. I have a tendency to lean forward – to rush into things and rush through things. It’s like I’m already envisioning the outcome before I’ve started putting the pieces together – the danger being that I want to move on to the next thing before I’ve finished the last.

The bodily sensation when I get my balance right at the crease is a sensation that I’d love to transplant into all aspects of my life – work, career, money, relationships. It’s a sensation of being centered, i.e. having my center of gravity in the same place as the middle of my body. I suspect that a lot of the time my center of gravity is just in front of me, literally and figuratively.

I can’t help thinking this is connected to a feeling that whatever I am doing, whatever I have (and, possibly most fundamentally, who I am) is not enough. And that moving my center of gravity away from myself is a way of avoiding a confrontation with that feeling of not-enough-ness (yes, inadequacy is a better word).

One of the key shifts that integral coaching looks to help people with is this achievement of balance. It seems a simple enough concept at first glance, but I worry that we oversimplify balance (it’s not just about debits and credits). The more I coach, the bigger the topic of balance starts to look to me.

That being said, getting a physical appreciation for what balance feels like is not a bad place to start, so dust off that old your cricket bat and get into a net, or get on to a yoga mat and revisit that tree pose.

Richard Jamieson is an Integral Coach and an Associate at Connemara.

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