Cricket Psychology: England – Drawing From History!

It’s the final game of the Ashes series, and its an opportunity for England to cement their dominance over this Australian team. One of the surprising things that we have learnt about England’s series preparation, is that there has been an new-found openness about them, which was not always the case in past, more insular self-protective England teams. An openness that has allowed current players to reconnect with England greats of the past and tap into their insights and know-how. For example, Stuart Broad admits that he has never really spoken with Ian Botham previously. Given that Botham is at […]

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Tennis Psychology: Nick Kyrgios – Maturity!

After the on-court dramas at Wimbledon, tennis observers weren’t expecting the talented Nick Kyrgios to be back in the news so quickly. So it’s a surprise to some, that the Australian is back courting the headlines again. His on-court sledge to Stan Wawrinka appears to have shocked the tennis world. And if it was anyone else but Kyrgios, then it’s unlikely to have created such a storm. In a lot of sports, an insulting sledge is part and parcel of the mental games. Employed strategically to gain edge and throw your opponent off balance. So unto itself, it’s of no […]

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Cricket Psychology: Michael Clarke – Confidence!

It’s the best thing that an opposition can hope for. They make their plans around it. It’s strategy number one. And sometimes, they don’t even have to try that hard to execute it. That’s exactly the scenario in this Ashes series. England would have targeted Australian captain Michael Clarke. If the captain and leader is dismissed cheaply, then it exerts extra pressure on the other batters. And sends out a strong message. What England didn’t know was be how easy it would be to take Clarke’s wicket. Once the best batsman in the world, Clarke has completely lost form and […]

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Tennis Psychology: Rafa Nadal – The Champions Pain!

To see a great sportsman at the peak of his or her powers, is one of the reasons why top level sport can be so compelling. By the same token, it can be painful to witness a sporting great searching for one of their superpowers. And so it was with Rafael Nadal at the All England club yesterday. Rafa’s opponent, Dustin Brown, whilst talented, had only won four times previously at Wimbledon. But short of the vital champions currency of confidence and self-belief, Rafa was pushed aside by Brown playing the match of his career. Nadal didn’t fall short through […]

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Cricket Psychology: England – The Transformation!

It’s been a remarkable turn-around. Only months ago England were playing a losing brand of cricket that was out-dated, tired and formulaic. A stats-based approach had inhibited talented players, rendering them incapable of responding, in the moment, to changes in game dynamics. Not any more. Freed of limiting inhibition, playing to their strengths, England are now in tune with the modern one-day game. England’s turn around, demonstrates how simple it is to transform the way a team plays. Charged with being positive and aggressive, the right players are played in their right positions. Fearlesness supports boldness and daring. One players […]

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Snooker Psychology: Stuart Bingham – xxxx It!

He wasn’t on many people’s list of potential winners. A solid tour professional who had never got past the second round at The Crucible before. But against the odds Stuart Bingham was crowned 2015 World Snooker Champion. Bingham has always given the impression, that he didn’t feel he was good enough to beat the games best players. For example, at this years UK Open, he was four frames to one up against Ronnie O’Sullivan. The thought of turning over the games best ever player caught up with him, and he surrendered his lead, as if aware of the consequences of […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – Lessons From Augusta!

Seeing your game unravel in front of millions of people. That’s not something you dream of as a top sports professional. But it has its upside. If you know how to learn! In 2011, Rory McIlroy went into the final round of the Masters with a commanding four shot lead. He was nailed on for his first Major. Then at Amen Corner, his game fell apart. His final round 80 was a powerful lesson at the University Of Golf. Since then Rory has won four Majors. And he cites his Masters meltdown as the turning point. When your game collapses […]

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Cricket Psychology: Michael Clarke – The Secret World Of Champions!

It’s hours before the opening action of the World Cup Final. The famous Melbourne Cricket Ground is deserted. Apart from the groundstaff. And Australia captain Michael Clarke. The rest of his team-mates are still relaxing back at the hotel. Not Clarke. This match is too important. It’s the World Cup Final. And it’s also Clarke’s last one-day international. He is on the ground hours early for one reason only. To connect to the sense of occasion. Before the place gets too busy. The night before big Wimbledon finals, Martina Navratilova would gain access to the stands of the Centre Court. […]

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Cricket Psychology: South Africa – Choking?

It’s Sky Sports cricket analysis show The Verdict. The team are de-constructing the World Cup semi-final. Bob Willis is firmly of the view that this isn’t another South Africa World Cup choke that has cost them this tight match. But that victory belongs to New Zealand boldness and daring. On the surface this is a reasonable analysis. But South Africa made a number of unfortunate contributions to this painful defeat. To be sure nothing on the scale of Allan Donald in 1999 or Shaun Pollock in 2003. But nevertheless it appeared that the shadow of history was upon their shoulder, […]

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Football Psychology: Sunderland – Who Runs The Team?

It’s mid-way through the first half at the Stadium of Light. And Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is watching his team crumble without any sort of fight in a big relegation match. Aston Villa are running through Sunderland at will. You would expect him to be raging on the touchline. Demanding a response from his players. But no. His face is blank. As if he has no idea what is happening in front of him. And no idea of what to do about it. For this is a manager who is no longer in control of his team. When a team […]

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