Use?negatives and challenges as a form of motivation.
Christ Church Foundation School cricketers were beneficiaries of some fatherly and cricketing advice from West Indies fast-bowling legend, Joel Garner, on Friday night at a dinner in their honour at the school hall.
Garner, Foundation’s most illustrious sportsman with 259 wickets in 58 Tests at a remarkable average of 20.97, didn’t hurl down his lethal yorkers during his feature address but bowled over the cricketers as he implored them to have self-discipline, work hard, learn the rules of the game and listen to advice from older folks.
“For you, this is just the beginning of a long journey to the top. What you have to do now is to look to Barbados, you have to look to the West Indies and aspire to be like those people before you,” Garner told the youngsters while advising them to always be polite and remain humble.
“I just want to congratulate you on all of the success and look forward to seeing you not only doing well, not only for Foundation . . . but look to the future. I think there is a whole big world out there for you, just waiting for you to explore,” he added.
Garner, 60, who is also the president of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), implored the cricketers, who were being saluted for winning back-to-back BCA?Schools Under-19 titles and last year’s Garfield Sobers International Schools Tournament, not to worry about negative comments.
“Use the negatives as positives. Anytime, anybody who says to you that you can’t make the Barbados [team], say ‘you are not only going to play for Barbados but [you are] going to play for the West Indies’”.
“Cricket builds character. There are times you think you are not going to win. You are playing against some opposition, you have some umpires who are not very favourable to you and then you go into some hostile environments. Challenges are there but you use them as a motivator. Anytime somebody says to you that you can’t do something, if it is negative, you let it go; if it is positive, you use it.
“I think that the greatest strength is that every time [people said] to me that I can’t make it in cricket, I went out and proved to them that I can make it in cricket by working hard.
“There are a lot of people with talent but not the discipline, and I think that talent without discipline is a waste of time . . . The fellows who work hard always outscore them, out bowl them, outperform them,” he contended.
Garner, who also took 146 wickets in 98 One-Day Internationals at an avearge of 18.84 and an economy rate of 3.09 runs an over, also stressed that self-discipline was critical to success.
“I remember the mornings that I used to run five miles without anybody with me or anybody having to encourage me to do it. I just got up and started running. I did that for most of my life. Preparation is 75 per cent of whatever you do and if you prepare well, you are going to do well,” he said.
Garner encouraged the cricketers to sit and listen to older people as they have words of wisdom.
“You, as the youngsters, might think that the older folks are testing or badgering you. I don’t think they do. I think that what they do is to bring a different perspective to whatever you are doing and it is always good to listen and to be receptive to other ideas and other thoughts,” he said.