As an avid cricket fan I’ve been watching the recent two match test series between England and New Zealand with interest. An exciting and enthralling battle with highs and lows for both sides, and a fair 1 – 1 series draw in my humble opinion.
But what really caught my attention was the mental approach of the New Zealand team. Having played an exciting and very positive brand of cricket in the first test at Lords only to finally lose pretty comprehensively you might have expected them to approach the second test at Headingly with some apprehension, whilst most English supporters must have been feeling pretty confident of their side’s chances to take a series win. The turning point for England in what’s been a difficult winter perhaps?
Brendon McCullum and his team had other ideas however – taking the match to England from the start on the first morning.
Controlled aggression, teamwork, a strong work ethic and a positive focus throughout. The final ingredient was effective and correct decision making in the heat of the battle. But for me, the one single quality that impressed me was the Kiwi’s unfaltering commitment to their team values and beliefs – positive, attacking cricket with both the bat and the ball. After the crushing first test defeat it could have been easy for them to take a cautious, defensive, defeat-avoiding approach to the second test. But no, they played to their strengths and followed their principles, eventually overcoming that first test defeat by inflicting one of their own on England, thus providing a fitting analogy for getting back on the horse.
As in life, when things get tough – stay positive, stick to your principles and make the right decisions.
You won’t always win, but you’ll win more than you lose!!