Diary of an England back-room staffer
Player A was eight minutes late for breakfast. This could be indicative of a build-up of fatigue and the management team should therefore consider resting the player for the next couple of Test matches. In terms of food selection, Player A opted for only the third-best of the three nutritionally balanced meal options on offer. Is this down to ignorance or a lack of willingness to exploit opportunities to steal crucial advantages over the opposition? Both interpretations are damning.
9am: Foam rolling
Player A was seen to be joking with team-mates during this recovery session. He was clearly not fully committed to the foam rolling process and will not have gained all he could from the session.
10.30am: Coffee break
One sugar. Entirely unnecessary given that glycogen stores had been in no way depleted by the morning's exertions.
11am: Team bonding
At the designated team bonding session, Player A struggled to get involved. Where other players joked, he remained stony-faced. Is he not buying into the team culture? At one point, he was heard making reference to the earlier foam-rolling session. Clearly such a topic was in no way beneficial to team goals at that time.
Player A opted for the second best of three nutritionally balanced options. Dietary behaviour perhaps warrants greater scrutiny.
2pm - Golf
Player A performed creditably on the golf course. Every drive found the fairway. Every chip found the green. His swing was smooth and reliable, but this required a great deal of bottom hand, which may be worth monitoring in the nets tomorrow. He also missed a relatively easy putt on the 18th hole. Was this indicative of an inability to handle pressure situations? It is probably worth cataloguing instances where putting tension has been exhibited by this player in order to gain a clearer picture.
Player A opted for the third-best of the three nutritionally balanced options. In a less controlled environment, the player could potentially move towards having around 11% body fat and may somewhat compromise his recovery through minimal intake of essential vitamins. His preference for new potatoes over sweet potatoes hints at a certain lack of professionalism.
7.30pm: Psychological assessment
Having spoken to Player A at great length, it appears that he is placing undue pressure on himself, even when not in a match situation. For some reason, he is constantly judging himself and has developed a number of very unhealthy thinking patterns. Firm conclusions should not be drawn on scant evidence, but it may be the case that this player is not suited to Test cricket in the long-term.
Player A's heart-rate monitor indicated that he could not fall asleep for quite some time and that he slept only fitfully thereafter. Again, this hints at a degree of emotional turmoil and player monitoring should perhaps be stepped up in response. These prolonged bouts of wakefulness are also likely to have physical effects. Note for tomorrow: if the player is on time for breakfast, he has not had his requisite eight hours of recovery sleep and should be marked down accordingly.
Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket