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The Test

Stuck inside during the, shelter-in-place order with time on your hands?  You may enjoy watching the Amazon Original docuseries, The Test. This 8 part series follows the reorganization of Cricket Australia following a ball tampering scandal that disgraced the team in 2018. This inspiring docuseries touches on many mental training concepts and the process of player/team development under pressure. Some of the take aways are:

*Coaching and the process of bringing out the best in players.   *Shifting coaching style to fit players’.  *Coaching that invites and listens to player feedback to help the overall process.

*Captain/Coach leadership.  *Staff honesty and communication with players’.  *Communication/unity amongst players’. *Working with a purpose as a team towards a goal. *Creating Positive Team Culture. *Focusing on process vs. outcome in working towards a goal.  *Player motivation/self-confidence.  *Winning the mental battle.  *Achieving consistency. *Overcoming adversity.  *Player/team resiliency.  *Self control under pressure.  *Perseverance.

*Upholding the tradition of the sport. *Team/national pride.  *Media scrutiny.

Surprisingly, the docuseries didn’t have any signs of mindfulness training. The team brought in strategic, technical, physical and strategic experts but there was little to no specific mindfulness training. Many episodes showed the heartbreak the team experienced as it lost momentum in matches when mindfulness training could have helped keep their mental game in balance during crunch time. The coach talked a lot about staying focused and staying with the mental battle, but there were few signs of technique to achieve this skill.

The story is quite interesting and whatever sport you participate in the episodes are filled with Sport Psychology performance concepts which are easy to list but challenging to consistently produce in the heat of the battle against the greatest teams in the world.

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