Empty Stadium
Empty Stadium
File Picture

New Delhi

Cricketers like Virat Kohli who depend on external stimulation and are used to pressure are really going to struggle in front of empty stadium but self-motivated players will do a hell lot better in this year's IPL, said experienced mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton.

The 13th IPL will be held in a bio-secure environment behind closed doors in wake of the raging COVID-19 pandemic and Upton feels many players might struggle.

"The big-match temperament players do well when the pressure is on, when there are a lot of people around. The fact that you are gonna have games in front of empty stadiums now, you are just not going to have that level of pressure," Upton told ESPNcricinfo Newsroom.

"So the players who rely on big-match temperament to deliver results... Someone like Virat Kohli, will he still be as good when you take away that external stimulation and noise and pressure?

"You are gonna find players who normally fall over when the pressure gets high. They will be able to just carry on batting because there is not going to be the physical presence of spectators."

The 51-year-old from South Africa, who was the mental conditioning coach of the Indian team which went on to win the 2011 World Cup, said internally driven players will outperform cricketers who look for external validation.

"Athletes who are internally driven, who find the motivation from within themselves, they are going to be fine, they are going to do well. Your typical confidence players, who look for motivation, inspiration or validation from outside, they are really going to struggle," he said.

"Your (a team's) optimists are going to do a hell lot better. Your pessimists are gonna struggle. So it depends how many introverts, internally driven, optimists you have got in your team. The more you have got, the luckier you actually are."

Upton, who has coached multiple teams, said staying in a bubble for three months is not easy, warning the teams to be prepared as funny things can happen during the tournament.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal