My 2019 highlight? Not what you might think.

It has been an incredible summer of international cricket.

England ODI World Champions; Super Over finish; heroics from Ben Stokes.

An enthralling, fluctuating Ashes series. Steve Smith (boo…oh, but he is incredible); Stokes’ batting (again). Jofra Archer’s pace. Amazing, impossible catching.

But what makes a “great” moment truly “great”?

For me, as a spectator (and coach), greatness is demonstrated in the player’s commitment to perform at their absolute best, all of the time.

It doesn’t matter the level of competition, or the venue — cricket is a game played best when it is played “properly”, whatever the context.

It can seem like a cliche, but playing every game, every moment, as if it could be your last on the playing field.

Continue reading “My 2019 highlight? Not what you might think.”

One more time

We were spoilt by the weather yesterday. This was the view as I arrived for work on Saturday morning, just before 8 am.

It has gone cold again, today. Of course it has! The First Class game has started already, and the more ambitious clubs will be venturing outside in the next week or two. It has to be cold, and windy (or cold, windy and wet) for the start of the new season!

I think it must be in the Laws, somewhere, or perhaps the Spirit of Cricket?

But this ECB video, from 2018 (with a cameo appearance from a friend), set me thinking about the new season, and getting ready for one more time around.

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Retirement, LTAD, and the early-stage coach

In a fascinating article in Sport Magazine last week (“Life After Sport: A study“), Steven Sylvester, former Middlesex cricketer and now chartered psychologist working with world champion athletes, explained the problems faced by full-time athletes as they make the transition into retirement.

As a recreational/community coach and sports fan, I am not sure that I have ever even thought about the challenges facing a professional athlete at the end of their full-time playing career.

But perhaps we can help by trying to instil the “growth mindset” into our charges at an early age – the idea that any challenge can be overcome if it is approached in the right way.

Continue reading “Retirement, LTAD, and the early-stage coach”