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Obsessed with the mental side of the sport, want to pass knowledge on to many players: DC Coach Watson

Delhi Capitals assistant coach Shane Watson said he found the mental side of the sport “super interesting” and added that he was “obsessed” with it.

The former Australia all-rounder added that players might show incredible skills at the nets, but once they’re in a competitive environment their “mental environment changes significantly” and that’s what he’s tried to do in his long association with the to study Indian Premier League (IPL).

“I find the mental side of the sport super interesting and obsessed with it. Players show incredible skill at the net when playing without pressure. But as soon as they enter the game, the mental environment of the players changes significantly,” Watson told The Delhi Capitals Podcast on Wednesday.

Watson added that he tries to spread knowledge about the mental aspect of the game to as many cricketers as possible.

“I’ve spent a lot of time expanding my knowledge of this side of the game. Everything always revolves around technology. Usually, coaches try to correct players’ technique, but there is no mindset chat, and if your mindset is wrong, you will not be able to perform your skills. So one of my main focuses as a coach is to spread knowledge about the mental side of the sport to as many cricketers as possible.”

The Aussie also spoke about how he’s helped Rovman Powell be at his best this IPL season.

“Everyone has an internal dialogue in their head. We are in control of these dialogues, but most of us are not in control of these dialogues. Usually the internal conversations are negative thoughts like fear of failure, don’t make that mistake again, you should be better and so on and so on.

“But if you want you can control your thoughts and direct them to the right thoughts at the right time, which helps from a performance perspective. Rovman understood that and was able to redirect his thoughts.”

Watson also spoke to Powell about defining the best version of yourself.

“We never really define the best version of ourselves from a mental ability perspective. Working with Rovman and precisely defining his best version helped him. And you could see in the game that he brought us home against KKR (Powell scored 33 of 16 balls unbeaten).

“He was there to own it when he went out to hit. He was exactly where he needed to be. Ultimately, that doesn’t guarantee you the results you want, but you gave yourself the best shot, and Rovman did just that.”

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