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Don’t train, don’t play it’s only fair

Hardcore decisions are mandatory to revive our national cricket programme.

For far too long we have embraced mediocrity and accepted poor excuses for our results overseas. We need to stop pacifying players and bending over backwards to accommodate them.

Since the topic of the week has been attendance it's only fitting to show that this is not something new that was implemented. The rules governing attendance in the national programme started back in 2005.

In 2005 there was a 70 percent training attendance requirement put in place for all players to meet. If players didn't meet the requirement no matter who they were they were excluded. The premise behind the rule simply is commitment and team unity. If the whole teams trains more than 70 percent of the sessions than you know for sure as a coach and as a team that you are properly prepared, both physically and mentally.

Sticking to the rules prevents questions surrounding the integrity of the programme, making it impossible for a player to be left out of a squad by someone who didn't meet the criteria.

As a coach this is where principals have to come before popularity for the integrity of the programme. All respect gets lost when it's evident that compromises are made to suit certain individuals. Training together brings about team unity. It helps one to understand their team-mates. Through training one can learn how to get the best out of someone. Training also brings about a positive inner feeling for when stepping onto the field of play knowing they are properly prepared and are more likely to succeed, in contrast to being under prepared and thrust into battle.

One thing must be clear meeting the percentage training criteria will not guarantee an automatic place in the team if all those vying for a spot have met the minimum requirement, however it should guarantee a spot if the players chosen have not, exceptions being authorised absences.

There are many aspects that coaches look at: the most important one is probably making sure the team has the right balance. Different games require different styles of play. Aggression for Twenty20, discipline and patience for the four-day game.

Regardless if Bermuda is to be consistently successful moving forward we need to identify young cricketers who love the game of cricket. We need to find those cricketers who eat, drink and sleep cricket, such as Delray Rawlins, Kamau Leverock, and Joshua Gilbert to name a few. These are players who are hungry for success, and want to learn and desire to represent Bermuda.

This team that will be representing us in Dubai is a well-balanced team. Yes, there are a few key players missing, but the make-up of the team looks good. What each individual has or hasn't done will show in their performances. With merely weeks away from game time it's not too late to put in some extras, don't cheat yourself of the preparation needed to be at your best.

Putting in the work psychologically takes you to a different space mentally. Players who do train become more committed and tend to be positive thinkers in relation to their own performances. Let's eliminate the excuses: you reap what you sow.

Players, be accountable for your own performances. Set your own goals and incentives.

In moving forward what is the answer? As amateurs if you don't have the love and passion for the game then training will always be a chore. We know all about work and family commitments, an easy fix if it was a player's profession. However, that dream is only a dream on our shores. If qualifying for the World Cup didn't create a full-time professional national team then our only hope is to qualify again and hope things will be different.

We have the talent in Bermuda to compete but we need to fix the mindset of the players, “You don't have to be a professional to train like one”.

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Published February 17, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 17, 2012 at 5:52 am)

Don’t train, don’t play it’s only fair

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