Sporting legend on the mark

Greg Chappell said during a radio interview (I paraphrase):

In recent times in Australian cricket we’ve over-coached and interfered…

The Aussie team haven’t been performing that well, losing matches they should be winning and generally under performing.

When it comes to team sports, there has been a definite shift for administrators/coaches to overstep the mark. They like to feel justified, so they make all sorts of strange decisions, believing that the contest can be won in the boardroom. It can’t. Many decisions are made by frustrated athletes (or ex-athletes) who forget that performance is best left up to the athletes on the day.

Not sure why administrators can’t pick the “best” team and let them fight it out. The players know who the “best” are and any other selection creates disharmony. The Australian Cricket Team needs less thinking and more playing – in this case, seems there seems to be too many having a say (scientists, coaches, selectors, doctors etc) and it’s not surprising that their performance is inconsistent. It absolutely amazes me that apparently smart people can’t let super talented individuals (the players) do what they’ve trained their entire lives to do.

What can golfers learn from this?

Your conscious mind is a bit like an administrator. Sure, you need this analytical side of your brain sometimes, but when it actually comes to pulling the trigger and hitting the ball, you need to be clear in your thought pattern and uncluttered with your intention. Almost always, over-thinking leads to ugly things happening;

– tightness
– self-doubt
– confusion
– lack of power
– increased nervousness

Over-thinking bypasses your natural learning system and stops it from doing what it does best – hitting that ball into the hole. Deep analysis can seem like a logical decision, but when it comes to executing a motor skill it just gets in the way. You can fight the system and always be miserable, or let go and play the game. The choice is yours.

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  • James Smith

    Reply Reply January 30, 2013

    …and I choose to let go. 🙂

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply January 31, 2013

    Over thinking can definitely be a problem that I feel sometimes can equal the interference from our other pest Pesky.It is an area I sometimes fall into but I recognise the warning signals and then just simply start again.
    Cheers Lukey

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 1, 2013

      Lukey: Getting an early warning sign is key – in time you’ll know it’s happening almost before it does. Awareness is such an important lesson and one that is hardly ever taught.

  • Troy Vayanos

    Reply Reply February 2, 2013

    Great post Cameron,

    I think this relates well to what I see so often on the golf course.

    You see a guy hit his first shot out of bounds and then out of frustration he quickly reloads again and hits it straight down the middle. The usually comments are ‘why couldn’t I do this the first time’. I’m guessing the first time you were over thinking the golf swing and shot. The second time around you didn’t think at all and just swung the golf club.


    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 2, 2013

      Troy: This kinda thing happens all the time. I don’t think there is an easy way to completely overcome it but definitely minimise it. When we can learn to be brave enough to step up to the ball and swing away we reduce the amount of times the ball goes out of bounds. There’s a contradiction here and that might just be a huge part of the game. Unfortunately, this part is rarely taught or spoken about.

  • Brock

    Reply Reply February 14, 2013

    As a former junior cricketer with a lot of potential and my own wristy style i can certainly relate to being over coached.
    After making the SA junior state squad all I was ever told was that ball shouldnt be going through there or on a bad wicket that shot will get you out, Attempts to remove my wrists left me with no shots and less power resulting in ZERO confidence,
    How I wish i had Gregs Advice 15 years ago.
    I’ve recently had a lesson with one of Melbournes top instructors and I’ll be damned if he didnt tell me i was to wristy!!!
    knowing what I know now though I have chosen to walk away from that instructor.
    Instead i have made a slight modification to my clubs and am now hitting a consistent slight draw with all my clubs with my old FLAWED swing that needed to be rebuilt from the ground up.
    I guess my point is Cam is on the right track.
    Cookie cutter solutions from cert 3 coaches dont work for everyone.
    Trust your natural game and your instincts and be the best player you can be

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 16, 2013

      Brock (and others), this is such a good email in so many ways that I’m going to do a full article on it. I’m sharpening the pencil and taking aim. Keep your eyes peeled for more…

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