"You have to develop skill in context. That means practising at high intensity under significant pressure."

I don't agree. 

Intensity and pressure are two factors crucial to skill. It's useless being able to play a perfect cover drive in the mirror at home but missing every one when you do it in a match. Yet, these element are at the top of a list that includes: 

  • Basic understanding of the need to improve, and a desire to risk failure to do it. 
  • Basic understanding of the skill itself, and how you perform it with individual differences.
  • Understanding of other ways to perform a skill. 
  • Tactical know-how.
  • Confidence in your ability to perform skills.
  • Having resilience when things don't go your way.

If you introduce more intensity and pressure too early, you risk losing people who have not yet developed these areas enough. They are likely to see training as a test they are failing rather than an environment that encourages growth.

I image for Jones, most of his players are well developed in these areas, so he is right in his ideas for the group he coaches. I'd also say for most cricket coaches - even at senior level - there is work to be done to develop other areas first before pressure is added.

That said, I am going to run a session that is higher on intensity and pressure this week, even though I think some of the guys may react poorly to it. I am going to put it into the context that the session is deliberately high pressure and unfair. The test will be made clear: Your response to pressure will reveal how you respond to in in actual games, so learn from it. 

I'll see how it goes!





AuthorDavid Hinchliffe