Ravi Bopara’s back in the England cricket team squad for today’s test match against India two years to the week after his last test appearance for England.
It was interesting to hear him talking on Monday about what is going on between his ears and how important he feels that the mental battle is for him as a batsman and performer. He felt that the two year absence has made him mentally tougher and acknowledged that all the players at his level have the technical requirements to be successful but that what differentiated players was not technical ability or even tactical nous but mental strength and agility.Ravi Bopara’s coaching skills are also sought after in IPL .
His ability to develop the mental resources to meet the demands of test cricket will depend on how well he has used failure and disappointment as learning experiences, how well he has used disappointment or challenges to grow himself and what strength he can draw on from his last two years of working hard in limited overs international cricket and county cricket.
Developing what Carol Dweck, the academic and author, calls a Growth Mindset can be equally, if not more important than continuing to develop technical knowledge and tactical skills in isolation.
How would you rate your mental skills in terms of breadth, quality, usability and effectiveness, especially when it comes to dealing with disappointment, setback and criticism? Can you articulate the mental skills you have and when you would deploy them. Do they form part of your performance strengths? Are you magnificent at managing your mind so that an even greater percentage of performance game is attributable to conscious competence.