Before the England Pakistan limited over series I read a tweet. It said reading the form guide is all you need to know about the result.
But England confounded recent form - and that opinion - by thrashing Pakistan in both T20 and 50 over formats.
What happened, and what can you learn for your own team?
Prepare for the next game, not the last game
England suffered defeat against form in the preceding Test series. Nobody gave them much chance.
But the team did a great job in putting the past aside and adapting their preparation to limited over cricket.
That’s harder than it seems, because it’s easy to feel fear when you have been thrashed.
Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook typified England’s approach. They came up with seperate game plans that gave more freedom. Suddenly the terrors of Pakistan’s spinners were gone. KP hit back to back centuries and a match winning fifty.
It’s easy for you to do the same in your games. Look at who is likely to be bowling or batting for the opposition and come up with a plan to exploit their weaknesses.
It’s a sporting cliché to say that young players feel no fear, but it’s a cliché because it’s true.
England were rejuvenated by a youthful injection into the squad. Players like Jade Dernbach just don’t have the reluctance you naturally develop after a few years in a squad.
As a result of this ‘robust confidence’ (a term Mark Garaway has coined here on PitchVision Academy), players trusted their skills and were rewarded with results.
Even when things start to go wrong, the young confident cricketers don’t doubt they can turn it around.
That’s why you should look to throw confident young cricketers into the deep end at your club too. Their excitement and enthusiasm will get to even the most craggy and jaded player.
That kind of confidence is pure gold to any side.
For more on preparing to build robust confidence, enrol on Kevin Pietersen’s online coaching course Keep Calm and Smash It. The course contains a complete eBook, streaming videos and worksheets to develop your skills and bounce you back to confound the critics.