The chimp paradox…can you ride tandem?

One of the books on my reading list after the ECB CA Conference 2013 was Dr Steve Peters‘ “The Chimp Paradox“.

This came with ringing endorsements from exceptional athletes – Dr Peters is cited as “…the most important person in my career…” by one multiple-Gold medal winner – and I can see why.

Sometimes, an athlete can be his or her own worst enemy.  What start as little doubts or upsets can easily develop into major issues.  Dr Peters identifies the “inner chimp” as the source of (some of) the problems, and describes techniques for managing the chimp’s behaviour.

And yet…if that chimp really is five times stronger than “me”, and five times quicker, surely it would be better to co-opt him to pedal the bike? Rather than exercising and boxing our chimps, perhaps we could try working together?

Can you ride tandem?

Thinking about thinking about cricket…

I attended my first ECB CA Conference in January. It would be unfair to single out any of the presenters for special mention – every session left me with enough ideas to keep me busy into the summer, and beyond – but I did especially enjoy the opening day, which I spent listening to Matthew Syed, Michael Caulfield of Sporting Edge, and Louise Deeley from Inside Performance, all talking about the “inner game”, and how to think about thinking about cricket. And then, on the second day, the key-note from Peter Moores, simply entitled “Winning”.

One theme emerged in all four sessions – the absolute importance of adopting a “growth mind-set”, the belief that improvement is always possible, and that the role of the coach in developing this mind-set can be as important as any technical and physical improvements they can instil.

Continue reading “Thinking about thinking about cricket…”

What makes a winning coach? Ask someone who knows!

I spent a few hours today watching the live stream of @sportscoachuk’s latest #alldaytalentbreakfast, featuring Stuart Lancaster, England Rugby Union Head Coach, and Mark Lane, Head Coach of England Women’s Cricket.

Perhaps most enlightening (for me, as a volunteer cricket coach working with junior players) was the emphasis both speakers placed on the importance of a strong foundation (at representative level below national, and senior club, Academy and junior sport) to the ultimate success of the senior national teams.

Having heard Lancaster and Lane speak, it can be no surprise that England Rugby Union and the Women’s Cricket set-ups are both on the up.

Truly inspirational.
Continue reading “What makes a winning coach? Ask someone who knows!”