Board exams are around the corner for many of the students! This means for many, a level of pressure that they have not encountered earlier. They will be competing with their peers not just from their school but the whole country. For some, it will determine the college they will go to or the field of study they will embark on. Lost in this translation is the stress that many of the parents feel! Are they creating the right environment for their kids so that they perform to the best of their ability? Have they provided the right guidance to their kids? Have their kids got all the help they need? Teachers in schools feel some pressure too! Have they done their best to cover the syllabus and prepare students for the exam?
Pressure is a privilege!
This pressure cooker environment can often be dealt effectively through the lens of sports. Billie Jean king is considered among the icons of women tennis. Besides being a former world number 1 and winning 39 grand slam titles, she is largely responsible for equal pay between male and female players and putting the WTA tour for women in equal footing to the men’s ATP tour. Her favorite saying is “Pressure is a privilege!”. What she meant by it was that rather than being intimated by pressure, understand it and embrace it. Those who are effectively able to do that are the champions in the long run! Our own Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the best batsmen in the world today. By observing his example, students can learn so much about dealing with the pressure of the board exams and performing to the best of their ability and preparation!
Virat Kohli also feels butterflies before a big cricket match!
It is perfectly normal being anxious and nervous before your exams. It shows that you care about your performance. In cricket, we typically hear commentators talking about butterflies that cricketers feel before the match. However, these nerves start to disappear as the match starts.
Virat Kohli prepares hard and aims high for every match!
The holy grail for any exam is preparation! If you have prepared thoroughly for the exam the odds are that you will do well. The confidence will come naturally. However, if after the paper you get the feeling that you could have done better relative to the effort you have put in, no need to be despondent! It is part of the learning process. Analyze where you went wrong and how you can direct your efforts better in the next paper.
Virat expects to do well in every match. At times he loses concentration or plays a loose shot. It is all part of the getting better process. He reflects on it and makes improvement for the next paper.
Virat Kohli is a master of pacing his innings!
When Virat comes to bat, he carefully scrutinizes the situation of the match. What is the target? How many wickets are left? Which bowler is bowling well and against which bowler he can more easily make runs.
When taking an exam, it is best to first carefully look through the full paper. Tackle the easier questions first and attack the harder question later. Effective time management is the key! Pace your paper like Virat! This will help you get an optimal performance.
Virat Kohli adjusts to the conditions of the pitch and the match!
In a difficult pitch, Virat curbs his natural attacking game. He grinds out his innings and tries to stay calm. The goal is to do his best under difficult circumstances. Every run matters and Virat fights for it. In an easy pitch, Virat is careful to not give his wicket away!
If a paper in the exam is unexpectedly difficult or challenging remember it will be the same for everybody. Keep your composure and fight for every mark. On the flip side, if the paper is easy be cautious and try and avoid making careless mistakes!
Virat Kohli shrugs off a bad performance and focuses on the next match in the series! It is a well-known fact that despite being considered the best batsman in the world, Virat does not perform to his satisfaction in every match. What he does is as soon as the match is over, he analyses his performance and prepares for the next match. The goal is to do well in the series.
Similarly, if one of your paper does not go as to your satisfaction, analyze where you went wrong and prepare for the next paper. The goal is to do as well as you can in the whole exam, occasional blips will happen!
Virat Kohli failed miserably in England in 2014 but dominated in 2018!
In 2014, Virat made a paltry 134 runs in 5 matches and the series was a big failure personally for him. Many pundits questioned whether he was really as good as advertised. What did Virat do? He prepared even harder in 2018, analyzed where he went wrong and made adjustments to his game to cope better with the conditions and the bowlers. As a result, he dominated England in 2018 making 593 runs and finished the series as the highest run getter.
It is important to remember that the board exams are the start of your journey rather than the end! If they don’t go as well as you anticipated, no need to despair! There will be many more exams in the future and even greater opportunities. Be like Virat! prepare better, improve your weaknesses and then dominate the next time around and always remember pressure is a privilege!
(Author Pankaj Jha is the founder of makeageek.com. Having been educated in three continents- US, UK and India, he works closely with schools, teachers and students to help them achieve their very best. Views expressed here are personal.)
First Published: Feb 14, 2019 14:41 IST