A couple of seasons ago the cricket club I play for were in trouble in the league.
With one game to go the first team needed a win to avoid a fate worse than an England Twenty20 performance: Relegation to the depths of the third division.
We were confident victory could be ours. Home advantage and a weak opposition gave us the upper hand. The first team all turned up for extra training on Thursday. The captain demanded the selected team arrived at 11:30 the morning of the match (start time is 2pm) for practice and warm ups.
The question I have is where was this motivated effort in April and May?
The big mistake
Had we put in the work at the start of the season we would not have been praying for victory on the last day. This was the big mistake we made and I'm guessing many other clubs do the same thing every season.
You can't make up for several seasons of neglect with a couple of extra practice sessions.
All training, technical included, is an accumulation over days, weeks, months and years.
As Alwyn Cosgrove points out, the difference between winning and losing is how much you have put in beforehand. It takes the motivation of a champion to regularly head for the gym in the dead of winter or go to training every week (even in April, even when you don't want to). The investment you make in your strength, speed, power, skill and work capacity in those regular, often boring, punch-the-clock sessions are the ones that really count when you go out onto the pitch.
But enough ranting. Did we win that last game?
We did thanks to an incredibly calm last over boundary from our number 8 batsman.
Fact is my club has enough talent to be challenging for a first division place, not scrapping at the bottom. The difference is all down to putting in the hard yards all year.
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