Cricket Psychology: James Anderson – Visualization!

With Australia going for lunch on the final day at Trent Bridge, in touching distance of their challenging target, England re-grouped in the home dressing-room, under-pressure. But knowing that it only took one ball to break the tough Australian resistance. It’s the kind of scenario that top players relish. The game appears to be drifiting away from you. Under the cosh, someone in the group needs to deliver something special. Hope alone will not save the day. It requires belief and conviction that things will turn. And it was no surprise that James Anderson was England’s man of the moment. […]

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Cricket Psychology: Australia – Decisiveness!

At last! An act of clarity and decisiveness from Cricket Australia. For months under the strained leadership of South African Micky Arthur, the Aussies have looked hopeless. Off field issues have created a sense of an ill-disciplined outfit. On field performances have been sub-standard. This was a team heading for certain Ashes humiliation. And so before it’s too late, the board have acted and brought in new Australian leadership. Darren Lehmann will have a far stronger understanding of the Australian cricket psyche than outsider Arthur. He will know what makes them tick, when to be strong, and when to be […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – Choking!

It’s the final of the Champions Trophy, and England finally have a fifty-over title in their grasp. Somerset’s Josh Buttler comes to the wicket with an achievable target of nineteen runs in sight. Buttler’s first delivery from Ravi Jadeja is ugly. He takes an agricultural swipe at the ball and misses. Bowled. From here on in, England lose all momentum, and India are crowned champions. It’s a classic case of a team being unable to handle the pressure, and not thinking clearly. When the pressure is on at the death in a sporting contest, it’s critical how you individually and […]

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Sports Psychology: Australia Cricket – Leadership!

Once upon a time it would have been unthinkable. That the Australian cricket team, the standard bearers of everything Australian, would appoint a South African as Head Coach. It’s a high risk strategy and one that is looking flawed as we speak. For why would the self-reliant Australians need an injection of South African values? Have they become too soft and need a hard dose of external reality? This is an Australian team that has just suffered two heavy defeats in India. Defeats that caused the Head Coach Mickey Arthur, to ask his players to come up with solutions to […]

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Sports Psychology: Tom Maynard – A Warrior Spirit!

This morning Surrey cricketer Tom Maynard passed away. I had the pleasure of knowing Tom for three years, and he was a truly special individual. Tom had an unwavering sense of principle and deep rooted values, that he always held to, allied with a warrior spirit that loved a challlenge. Tom had no fear of failure, and loved to test himself against the best. I will always remember the joy on his face, when he leapt into the Lord’s crowd last summer after Surrey had won the CB 40 final, to hug his mother and gran. He had a quality […]

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Cricket Psychology: Glamorgan – A Team Without A Cause!

On Wednesday at The Oval, Surrey and Glamorgan met in a CB40 over game, that was dedicated to the memory of Tom Maynard. Tom played with great passion for both clubs, and it was fitting to see both teams carry his name on the back of their shirts. However, only one of the teams played in a manner befitting his memory and it wasn’t Glamorgan. The Welshmen were thrashed in a performance that can only be described as abject. If they didn’t have Tom’s name on their backs, then you could dismiss the poverty of their display as that of […]

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Sports Psychology: Sachin Tendulkar – Ninety-Nine

Since March 2011 Sachin Tendulkar has been stuck on ninety-nine test hundreds. Every time he walks to the wicket, the eyes of the cricketing world are on him. He’s probably being adviced to bat normally. Which is what he has done to secure ninety-nine centuries. But it’s very hard to bat normally when cricketing history awaits you. Tendulkar could easily become trapped in his own psychology. ‘I dont want to let people down’. ‘What if I dont get the next hundred?’. ‘Why is it proving so elusive?’. All these psychologies can attract doubts. But why start doubting yourself now? Sachin […]

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Cricket Psychology – Who Picks The Leicester Team?

There is nothing more fascinating for the sporting public, than a row to break-out from within a teams dressing room. Where matters that should be private and confidential, enter the public domain. In this case, its the Leicester CCC captain Matthew Hoggard and coach Tim Boon, in a spat with county chairman Neil Davidson. Davidson has apparently, been interfering in team affairs. Hoggard and Boon want him to stand down. The chairman cites poor results as a valid reason for his concern re team selection. It’s a mess. There is no unity, collectivity or mutuality on display at Grace(less) Rd. […]

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Cricket Psychology – The Mystery Of Kevin Pietersen

Its the penultimate round of County Championship matches. Glamorgan are on the verge of promotion back to Division One. A win at Surrey may secure their elevation. But in the Surrey ranks, making his debut, is Kevin Pietersen. Dropped from the England 20/20 squad, Pietersen has been asked to return to the county ranks to discover his form. But how has it come to this? Pietersen is a hugely talented and gifted individual. He is capable of taking any bowling attack apart, at any level. But with huge talent, comes arrogance. A total and utter belief in ones own abilities. […]

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Cricket Psychology – Alastair Cook & The Trigger Movements

So another failure for Alastair Cook in the test series against Pakistan. The debate around the England opener, has centred around Cook’s trigger movements. A batsman’s trigger movements are designed to help him both get in position, and then react to the ball. But trigger movements are meant to provide stability, like a golfer and their pre-shot routine. They give a sense of security to the batsman. It means that they do the same thing, each time to each ball. But they are not essential. If Alastair Cook is having to think about, or remember his trigger movements when he […]

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