I saw a tweet this morning relating to the 4th ODI between England and NZ in the unbelievable ODI series.
This is a question that I have heard spoken about a lot. England, yes England, have scored 300+ four games on the trot and chased 350 in 44 overs!
I think that hypnosis does have something to do with it.
When words are used effectively and consistently, whether it be as a single word or a term, they start to shift behaviour. As behaviour shifts so does performance. Words are hypnotic.
A most basic example is to say the word "yawn" in a very slow fashion 3 times and then see how that makes the body feel. Interestingly, watch anyone who listened to you say that simple word 3 times and see how they react. Scientific experiments have shown that bystanders will report back feelings of lethargy and fatigue with some even physically yawning.
So what does this mean to cricket?
Pitchvision Academy's own Graham Gooch did many things to make England’s batting line up the most effective in Test Cricket between 2009-12. His drills and approaches were great. But his most significant contribution to that group was a term containing two words:
Kevin Pietersen (227), Alistair Cook (294), Johnathan Trott (226) & Ian Bell (235) all scored their highest test scores during Gooch's period as Batting Coach. He changed the attitude towards Test match hundreds with one simple term. Previously, players were interested in getting the name on the honours board at each ground. They then became obsessed about the size of the number that appeared next to their name.
Kicking out old school terminology
For years, England have talked about the "accumulation phase" in the middle of an ODI. Even in the recent World Cup, England were happy to tick along at four or five an over from overs 20 through to 50, so that Jos Buttler and company could swing freely at the end of the innings.
Meanwhile, the best teams had ditched this long before the World Cup. A change of plan and a change of language was required.
Interim Coach, Paul Farbrace has used the word "intent" relentlessly in his team meetings and his press conferences We have heard it in player interviews throughout the series. It was lovely to hear him congratulate the team on getting bowled out in 45.2 overs for 302. This new intent to keep the foot on the gas was always going to end with the team being bowled out at some stage. It’s part of the learning process.
The easy thing for a coach to do was to call for a regressive shift in approach.
Farby called for more intent!
Interestingly, England have averaged 154 runs between over 20-40 overs this series. NZ are hitting 130. Is it not now a launchpad phase or kick on phase instead?
Send in your suggestions so we can change our language to change performance.