Dubai: The pressure of expectations from cricketers can lead to some of them suffering from mental fatigue, feels Ian Trott, one of the leading cricket coaches and father of former England star Jonathan Trott — whom himself was a victim of nervous breakdown.
Speaking to Gulf News, Ian Trott said: “A constant hype of publicity is not suitable to everyone’s temperament. I feel cricketers are pressured by demands for interviews as well as the cricket they have to present at the international level.”
Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell’s recent decision to take an indefinite break from cricket due to mental stress have brought the issue of sportspersons’ mental health under the scanner again.
Trott Senior feels that expectations from a cricketer in the past to the present has undergone a huge change. “This pressure seems to have trebled since the 1990s and so much emphasis is placed on players to be on beck and call for the game as well as being a spokesperson,” added Ian, who was witness to his son Jonathan, one of England’s leading batsmen, becoming a victim of stress and retired from the game at the age of 34.
“Everyone’s temperament is different and hence the scrutiny of public and media can add to the stress of sport,” said Ian, who conducts coaching sessions for UAE-based G Force Academy students visiting England every year. He makes sure that along with teaching the techniques of the game he also gives pep talks during coaching sessions on how to handle the demands from the game.
Jonathan, in an interview with Gulf News in England two years after his retirement, urged kids to have more understanding of the game over and above the techniques. “Kids should have a general understanding of the game, wanting to know more about the game by being keen learners. It is vital to listen and learn as you may realise that you have to do something differently. Being able to change at an early age helps in development than when you are older. You need to enjoy the game and keep the enthusiasm for the game and find the right balance,”
Among the cricketers who succumbed to stress-related illness include former England opener Marcus Trescothick, Australia pacer Shaun Tait, who retired at the age of 24 and came back to play again could not live up to the early promise, England pacer Steve Harmison and Indian spinner Maninder Singh.