England U19s step up their World Cup preparations

Ahead of their World Cup winter, England’s U19 squad went into the wild

Ahead of their World Cup winter, England’s U19 squad went into the wild to spend three days together in the picturesque Lake District.

It was a training camp with a difference as the course, organised by Eclipse Performance, saw 16 players and 10 staff saw the team leaving home comforts behind in favour of two nights in a remote mountain hut.

The activities took players and staff out of their comfort zones to facilitate a deeper understanding of what it takes to make an elite team tick. The importance of planning, teamwork, self- and group reflection and honest feedback were highlighted over the course of the physical and mental challenges.

High challenge projects, such as lowering a team member off a cliff and correcting capsized canoes in Lake Windermere, were performed by the team. The success of the projects depended upon clear and effectively communication and teamwork. Team members needed to trust each other in high pressure situations to achieve the goals of each unique project.

The camp comes ahead of the U19s’ tour of the Caribbean to play a tri-series against West Indies U19 and Sri Lanka U19, with the ICC U19 World Cup taking place in South Africa in January-February 2020.

Jon Lewis, England U19 Head Coach, said: “It was a great few days for both players and staff, who all learned a lot about themselves and each other as a result. I was impressed by the number of people who pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and stood up as leaders over the course of the camp.

“The lessons learned here can all be linked back to performance on the cricket pitch, such as our ability to execute skills while under intense pressure and while suffering fatigue. I hope we all take these learnings forward into our winter tours and the World Cup in January.”

Stuart Kelly from Eclipse Performance said: “The programme for the Young Lions was designed to push staff and players outside their comfort zones, whether that was being lowered off a cliff with knots tied by fellow team mates or having to have a conversation about how they felt when put under pressure.

“The projects were there to highlight how the team reacts and behaviour changes when put under pressure. The key learning came from reviewing these projects to highlight how these similar reactions and behaviours happen within cricket and how we can develop this so the team has the necessary conversation or acts in a way that will benefit performance, not hinder it.

“It was a privilege to work with such a great group of people that embraced our way of developing performance through experiences that they can take key learning from.”