Cricket Psychology: England – Integrating Mavericks!

Does every successful team need a Maverick player in it? No – probably not. You can win collectively with organization, discipline, and team-spirit. But a Maverick player brings something else into a team. They bring the X Factor,. The ability to do things differently to everyone else. And it’s this sense of ‘difference’ that can make the integration of a Maverick into a team, both rewarding and challenging. A team is made up of a set of individuals. And the stronger the individuals are, the more that the leadership need to help the strengths of those individuals be allied towards […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – Understanding Kevin

England’s less than successful cricket tour to Australia ended a couple of weeks ago. But the recriminations are still rumbling on. After a week of speculation on who said what about who, The ECB finally took the bull by the horns and sacked Kevin Pietersen as a contracted player. The debate about whether this was the correct course of action, perhaps won’t be resolved until England get down to the business of winning cricket matches again. But the Pietersen affair raises plenty of interesting issues, as to how you handle maverick players. In some ways it has similarities with the […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – A Team With No Mind!

The holy grail for any team or collective is to be of one mind. United in thought and deed. All working towards the same outcome. A team dynamic where everyone feels important and a key part of the group. Where the individual is given clear roles and responsibilities. And thus they know exactly how their contribution aids the collective success. On the other hand you can have a team with two minds. Where divisiveness holds sway. Where cliques form, and there is a feeling of enemies within. Thus the factions within the team pull against each other. And this is […]

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Cricket Psychology: Andy Flower – Leadership Fatigue!

So despite a declared intention to remain the Team Director of the England cricket team, Andy Flower will no longer be at the helm as England rebuild following the Ashes debacle. It could be argued that Flower had earnt the opportunity to put right the wrongs of Australia. That having led England to the coveted position of number one in the world, he knows what it takes to build a successful team. But something has gone badly wrong Down Under. On his watch England have significantly under-performed. Players have openly admitted to a lowering of standards off the field. One […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – The Batting Collapse!

It’s an Ashes tour that has shown England to be adept at something they would definately prefer not to be known for. Batting collapses. Clusters of wickets going down for next to no runs. It happened in Melbourne with six wickets being lost for a mere nine runs. A position of strength was surrendered, and with it went the Fourth Test. The number of times England’s batting has dramatically collapsed on tour, suggests that they have not built a reservoir of collective inner strength to handle adversity. Thus one person’s dismissal leads to another. Why? Kevin Pietersen was dismissed in […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – Forgetting How To Win!

It’s almost time to get the plane home! After their eleventh defeat in twelve games, England appear to have lost the will to compete against The Australians. In sport, winning is a habit. And so is losing. Players can take the field, somehow expecting things to go wrong. A mood envelopes the group, whereby no one is prepared to take responsibility for team outcomes. That mood can create a defeatist atmosphere. Past defeats hang heavy in the air. Doubts and uncertainty hold sway. Players talk bullishly about taking the postives or working hard, but it makes no difference. Jade Dernbach’s […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – Soul Searching & Harsh Reality!

It’s England wicket-keeper Matt Prior, speaking ahead of the third test at The WACA. England are on the verge of losing the Ashes. And Dr Reality has come to town. Matt Prior is speaking frankly. He is explaining that the players have been brutally honest with each other, and telling it like it is. And this is good. And how it should be. But is it too late? The Australians have developed a high level of confidence, belief and bullishness. They know how to beat England. They have done so twice. And will feel they can do it again. Frankness […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – Finding Defiance!

Sometime through the first Ashes test in Brisbane, it looked like little had changed. Stuart Broad, supremely focused and positively thriving on the uninhibited insults from the tetchy locals, was putting Australia to the sword. The dominance England had established in the home series, looked set to continue. Then the game dynamic was turned upside down. Brad Hadden and Mitchell Johnson dug in for a crucial partnership, and the Australian bowlers had a total to defend. Then the carnage began. Johnson’s pace and unforgiving hostility had England on the back foot and as wickets fell cheaply and tamely the hosts […]

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Cricket Psychology: Jonathan Trott – Strength In Vulnerability

It’s the first Ashes test at Brisbane and Jonathan Trott is being peppered by short pitched hostile, aggressive Australian bowling. There is also no shortage of sledging and verbal intimidation. Trott has founded his England career on a rock-solid temperament and mental clarity. But out in the cauldron of Brisbane, he appears to be desperately short of confidence and self-belief. The subsequent announcement of his premature return home, perhaps explains why he appeared so uncomfortable out in the middle. To stand up to an arrogant, in your face, physical and verbal Australian assault, requires maximum mental toughness. Not only do […]

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Cricket Psychology: Simon Kerrigan – Exclusion!

It was a dream come true. One week playing in the second division of the County Championship. The next making his England test debut in the final Ashes encounter at The Oval. A dream come true, until he was handed the ball by Alistair Cook mid-way through the first afternoon. Then nerves got the better of Simon Kerrigan. Unable to grip the ball properly, he was mauled by a run-hungry Shane Watson. Bowling tension-filled half-trackers, Watson’s eyes lit up as he helped himself to the young Lancastrian’s anxiety-based offerings. Kerrigan was finally put out of his misery by the England […]

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