England need to find team resilience to get back in the Ashes, says sports academic

(PRWEB UK) 28 November 2013

England need to find team resilience to get back in the Ashes, says sports academic.

An academic at Buckinghamshire New University says it is vital Englands cricket team stick together and learn from their experiences before refocusing their efforts on the next Test following their crushing defeat in the First Test against Australia.

Paul Morgan, Head of Sport at the University in High Wycombe along with researchers from Loughborough University, have completed a study defining team resilience in elite sport and say England captain Alastair Cook team should heed the tips.

The research involved focus groups with 31 members of top sports teams including field hockey, rowing, and soccer, with Olympic medallists and world champions among respondents.

Morgan said the findings show that as a team England must maintain a sense of perspective and togetherness following the heavy loss and departure from the tour of key batsman Jonathan Trott.

He said: What we term as resilient teams are teams where all members are on the same wavelength about how to positively adapt during tough situations – and that is what England must do now.

Quality of relationships is critical for team resilience, and sporting situations dont come much more challenging than the one facing the England cricket team in Australia right now.

They are under pressure from all sides, including the media and comments from Australian players, and as a team their collective ability to withstand the pressure will be crucial to achieving top performance.

Our research has shown that teams can face different types of pressurised situations to those faced by individual athletes. Before the series, bowler Stuart Broad said that tests showed he, Matt Prior and Kevin Pietersen reacted best to being under pressure.

“Their leadership will be vital to help others handle the pressure now but our study showed that even if you have a number of individuals in the team who can withstand stress, this doesnt necessarily mean that the team as a whole will deal effectively with intense pressure.

With that in mind, it is important the England cricket team operates on a basis of trust and respect and everyone knows their teammates are all pulling in the same direction.

“The side must operate a no blame culture while they are in Australia, and ensure there are open communication channels following that First Test setback.

In order to prosper the team must also learn from the First Test, as our findings show that learning and team resilience are intertwined.

Resilient teams regard setbacks as a natural part of their sporting development and consider learning from disappointments as vital to optimal performance.

In the study we conducted, some of the athletes said had they not encountered adversity in their teams, they probably would not have ended up in the position they were in of playing sport at the highest level. They regarded setbacks are vital for learning and improvement.

So England need to stick together, learn from the First Test, and reset their focus when they take the field for the next Test at the Adelaide Oval.

Morgan completed the study with Dr David Fletcher and Mustafa Sarker of the Sport Psychology Research Group based in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University.

To view the full article, go to http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1469029213000058.

Other papers published by the research group include:

Psychological resilience in Olympic Champions – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1469029212000544

A review of resilience definitions, concepts and theory – http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/epp/18/1/12/

Editors notes

Buckinghamshire New University has enjoyed a long and successful history since it was founded in 1893. The University offers an extensive portfolio of courses spanning the creative and cultural industries, the management and information management sectors, and the public sector. It also offers services to industry including contract research, consultancy and the opportunity to employ graduates.

The University has a state-of-the-art building in High Wycombe known as the Gateway, which comprises a learning resource and technology centre, events hall, gym, sports science laboratory, dance, drama, music and video production studios, library and meeting rooms. It also offers a growing provision of student accommodation in High Wycombe; and a thriving base for nursing students and applied healthcare research in Uxbridge, West London.

Its alumni include television star Noel Fielding and London 2012 Paralympic and Olympic medallists Naomi Riches and Chloe Rogers, and it has bestowed honorary degrees on well-known figures including Fern Britton, Terry Wogan and England Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio.

Bucks New Universitys Vice Chancellor, Professor Ruth Farwell, is Chair of GuildHE, which represents the heads of some of the most recently designated universities and university colleges, specialist colleges and other bodies providing higher education programmes.

Website: bucks.ac.uk

For further information, details and images contact Dean Valler, Communications Officer at Buckinghamshire New University, on 01494 601 636 or 07920 212 937 or email dean.valler(at)bucks(dot)ac.uk.

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