The Sports Psychology Blog
This Sports Psychology blog, comes as England finish Day One of the Edgbaston Test, on the back-foot, against South Africa.
Cricket: Michael Vaughan - A Critical Time
Ahead of the third test, England skipper Michael Vaughan, spoke of his hopes before the match. He singled out three of his bowlers; 'Jimmy'; 'Siddie'; 'Freddie'. Referring to Anderson, Sidebottom and Flintoff.
The naming of the players by nickname, rather than the more formal, surnames or full names, suggested a familiarity and easy closeness between the captain and his players. Surely a good sign?
But what if it was also a sign, of a captain getting too close to his players? And had lost some of that essential command and distance, that a good leader must have, to be effective.
It was slightly reminiscent, of Steve McClaren calling his England players, 'Stevie G'; 'Becks'; 'JT'. Not something you will ever hear Fabio Capello doing.
Perhaps, after the Darren Pattinson episode, Michael Vaughan wanted to accentuate the close-knit, family atmosphere, that had returned to the dressing-room. But, somehow, it sounded wrong.
It sounded too comfortable. Too familiar. It lacked the precision and clarity, that Michael Vaughan initially brought to the England job. He was a man clearly cut-out to be England captain. And so it proved, as he brilliantly took the Ashes from the Australians, three years ago.
But maybe, it's time for a break. Or a re-think. Perhaps time for him to re-evaluate his captaincy style and manner. His decision-making and his leadership. He has been an excellent captain for England. And he still can be.
But, right now, under pressure to score runs and lead a series fightback against South Africa, he seems to have lost some of his critical edge. It can be regained. But it may need some truthful analysis, to do so.