Mental preparation for the next match is more important than for the last

Dear Editor,

People are often blamed for being complacent, but complacency may very well be a ‘natural’ reaction to success at certain times, and therefore the better approach is to assume that unless precautionary steps are taken to ward it off, it will inevitably intervene.  The victory over Zimbabwe was important, indeed critical, and the team deserves credit for winning. The coaching staff, however, must handle the situation with care. Where there was improvement   praise ought to be given for specific, itemized acts, for example say, increasing the strike rate.  The ill-judged acts, however, even on the part of the good performers, must be brought to their attention; for example Lewis and Hope were playing Russian roulette with run outs, and Lewis became disengaged immediately before he got out. Samuels, Hope, Hetmyer and Holder gave away their wickets. Given Hetmyer’s youth, the reprimand has to be undertaken with great care. If he is to play in the next match he must be told that there was a serious debate as to whether as a punitive measure or in the best interests of the team, he should have been left out. Put simply there is even more danger psychologically of losing the match against Scotland than there was the one against Zimbabwe. This is both because of our recent history of inconsistent performances in successive matches, and the ‘natural’ tendency for complacency in the circumstances. The bottom line is that the mental preparation for the next match is even more important than it was for the last. Since the coaching staff know the reason for it they ought to be better at it.

Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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