Categories
cricket Mental Health other sports psychology

“Tipping the Balance” — when resources outweigh demands

Back in October I attended a fascinating event, hosted by LagomMind in partnership with OpeningUp Cricket, looking at Mental Health in Cricket.

The panel featured Fabian Cowdrey, Dr. Jamie Barker from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, and Mark Boyns from OpeningUp.

It was a thought-provoking evening, so much so that it has taken me a while to process everything (and to catch up on some follow-up reading).

My headline learnings on the evening time included:

  • the dangers inherent in the modern belief that the only route to success is via obsession — “the harder I practice, the ‘luckier’ I get”…but finding a balance between obsessive practice and “civilian” life might seem the healthier option;
  • the impact of irrational beliefs on mental well-being — Jamie told the story of a cricketer who fervently believed that he should score 100s whenever he batted, and became extremely upset when dismissed in the 90s;
  • ultimately, the need to trust yourself, and find what works for you.
Categories
athlete development coach development cricket other sports

Doping: what do we know? What can coaches do?

Does cricket have a problem doping?  Specifically, with the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)?  I would have said not, until I read this article from Andy Bull, in the Guardian from November 2017.  And then, last week, another piece on doping in cricket, this time from Tim Wigmore in the Daily Telegraph (subscription item).

So it was quite timely that I attended the inaugural lecture of Professor James Skinner, recently appointed as the Director of the Institute for Sport Business at Loughborough University London.

Professor Skinner and his colleagues have carried out a number of  research projects investigating perceptions of and attitudes towards doping in sport – public, athletes & coaches, dopers, young athletes.

And he has come to the conclusion that knowing why athletes dope is at least as important as knowing how when trying to devise appropriate counter-measures.

Categories
athlete development coaching other sports player development psychology

Coachability – is it a thing?

Should we seek, or create, cricketers who are “coachable”? Can we even agree what we mean by “coachable”?

I came across a fascinating article quoting  Brittney Reese, multiple World and Olympic Champion in the long jump, on the process of becoming a champion.

A story from the 2013 World Championships was especially interesting.  Reese, at that time the reigning World Champion, had only just managed to qualify for the final.

“…my coach told me to ‘stop acting like a girl, and just jump’.

That night I went back, looked at the film and tried to figure out where I was going wrong.”

This was presented as evidence of Reese’s “coachability”, but I’m not sure this really demonstrates “coachability”, not as I understand the term, at least.