She was Australia’s T20 World Cup hero back in March, steering* her team to a massive 85-run win over India in front of almost 90,000 fans at the MCG.
But cricket hasn’t always gone to plan for Alyssa Healy. The opening batter and wicketkeeper says that while she’s had some spectacular highs, she’s also had plenty of lows — and almost quit the game.
Like everyone, she has recently been dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Healy, 30, said COVID-19 restrictions meant she was not able to play cricket for more than six months after the World Cup and had really missed being able to see family and friends.
But she said focusing on the little things she could do during the pandemic had helped.
“It’s affected all areas of my life but for me it’s about enjoying the little things that I can do, like spending a little bit more time at home, spending time with my husband and spending time with my family who I am allowed to go and see,” she said.
“There are some little positives to not being allowed to go and travel the world and do the things I would normally be doing.”
Healy encouraged kids to look for their own little positives and remember that coronavirus restrictions wouldn’t last forever.
“Understanding that it hopefully won’t be forever is the start,” she said. “And enjoying the little moments that you do get is really important.
“So if you get the opportunity to go to the park with a friend or if you’re going back to school, it’s about enjoying those moments and making the most of them.”
Healy, who made her international debut* for Australia in 2010, said sport had taught her a lot about coping with difficult times.
“It’s taught me a lot of resilience*. Especially in the game of cricket, you have more bad days than good days as an individual,” she said.
“While the team might be going well, you might not have a good day all the time. So you need to bounce back from that and turn up the next day and do your best for the team again.”
She said she had always felt that a “bad day on the cricket field is still a pretty good day in comparison to a lot of different people around the world”.
She had also tried to always enjoy her cricket, but for a “big chunk” of her career felt she wasn’t performing at her best.
“I felt I was underperforming and just wasn’t confident in my own ability,” she said.
“I knew I was still contributing to the team wherever I could, but I just wasn’t having the impact that I would have liked.
“For a big chunk of my career I could have walked away from the game at any point in time.
“The best way I was able to come out of that was putting in the hard work and making sure that when it came to game time I could trust everything I had done, trust my technique* and just get out there and play with a smile on my face and enjoy myself.
“It finally paid off but for a big chunk of time it wasn’t paying off for me.”
Healy, who is married to fast bowler Mitchell Starc, was named T20 player of the year by the International Cricket Council in 2018. She also played a starring role in the World Cup win on March 8 this year, smashing 75 runs from just 39 balls.
She encouraged kids to “keep at it” when things weren’t working out the way they hoped.
“Working hard and putting the time and effort into what you want to achieve is important,” she said.
“Keep trying even though it might not be coming off because a really good result will not be far away if you are putting in the hard work.”
But she said the most important thing was to enjoy what you did.
“Dream big and enjoy it,” she said.
Healy torches India in Final
- steering: guiding
- debut: first appearance
- resilience: ability to recover from difficulties
- technique: way of doing something
- How long did coronavirus restrictions stop Alyssa Healy from playing cricket?
- When did Alyssa Healy make her international debut for Australia?
- How many runs did Alyssa Healy make in the World Cup final win?
- How many balls did she face to score those runs?
- What year was Alyssa Healy named T20 player of the year?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Silver linings
Despite being unable to compete in her beloved cricket for an extended period of time, Alyssa Healy has made a conscious decision to look for and appreciate the ‘silver linings’ presented by COVID-19. This is something we can all do and benefit from. Make a list of all of the positives in your life that have come out of COVID-19, no matter how big or small. Then, share and discuss your list with one or two classmates. Tell them in detail about the ‘silver lining’ you are most grateful for. If they have positives that you agree with but hadn’t thought of, add these to your own list.
Keep your list somewhere safe. You may find it useful to refer back to at times when you are feeling down about things that you are unable to do at the moment, or find it interesting in the future when the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Personal and Social Capability
Alyssa Healy’s story and message is about resilience. Do you know who else is resilient? You!
Write or make an audio recording of you talking about a situation in which you have had to be resilient, beginning with the words, “I have shown resilience…”
Your examples don’t have to be related to COVID-19 but can be if you want.
Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Personal and Social Capability
Opener Up-Level It
Make a list of all the openers in the article. Pick three that repeat and see if you can replace them with another word, or shuffle the order of the sentence to bring a new opener to the front.
Don’t forget to re-read the sentence to make sure it still makes sense, and that it actually sounds better.
HAVE YOUR SAY: What do you do to get through difficult times?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.