FortKnightley: Lockdown Test Match

Felsted’s Director of Sport Blog ‘FortKnightley’ looks at sporting issues that are relevant today and will leave you all with something to think about. Follow on Twitter @dirfelstedsport 

FortKnightley: Lockdown Test Match 

As I sit here with the second Test Match between Sri Lanka and England in Galle quietly playing in the background and having dipped into the recent miracles India managed in the test series in Australia, it has made me think that we can draw some parallels with the great game to the situation the pupils and many of us currently find ourselves in. There have been some good articles over the years that the skills you learn on the sportsfield can be applied to your wider life and arguably test cricket, due to its longevity as a match and balance between individual and team endeavour, can teach us more than most. 

It was quite late, but we all received the news that we had been selected for the lockdown 3 in early January. Like those players who have just been selected for a recent test series you start with optimism and the need to organise what this means for you and your family over the coming weeks. It is this organisation that has been key for so many in the recent lockdown. In our household we needed to look at how the remote learning was going to work for the 4 children and how my wife and I were going to fulfil their own online teaching requirements. Pre-planning in sport is essential and we all have certainly found the new working environments we have been in needed some thought. 

The optimism is important and the belief that you can meet the demands of the challenge ahead. The cricketers hit the bubble, the nets and training camps as we started moving furniture around and trying to find enough room for everyone to work effectively. The working environment needed to be right to ensure this optimism turned into enthusiasm. This enthusiasm for a sportsman is also important and you need to enjoy the challenge, however daunting. 

Once the game starts you need concentration, patience, resilience, teamwork, self belief, awareness, empathy, humour, hard work, fitness, calmness, clear plans, clear thinking and be able to spot an opportunity. Think about some of the messages you have given your pupils, yourself and your own children to cope with the challenges of lockdown. As with test cricket the emotions and skills required will ebb and flow and this then becomes the exciting part of the challenge. A bad session in a test match can sometimes be terminal to the game, but very often the length of the game gives you an opportunity to dig in and reverse your fortunes. Look at this as a series, as India had to, and you have even more time. A bad day remote learning is no different and we will all have them, pupil or teacher, so believing you have the skills to bounce back is important. We will need to understand which of those skills we can draw upon. In general hard work will always be a non-negotiable for all those wanting to be successful, but we will need to then identify when to tap into our other skills or learn to develop new ones. This is no different to test cricket when at times you are on top and teamwork, humour, calmness and clear thinking all seem to come naturally, but at other times when you are behind the eight ball these skills seem harder to find and you need to fallback on concentration, patience, empathy, teamwork and self belief to name a few. 

There will always be someone else having to deal with more adverse situations than yourself which is often important to note, but can we use and develop some of the skills needed in test cricket to get the most out of this lockdown. Each day will be different and this should be expected and embraced. You never know you might turn a tough situation into a winning one for you! 

Charlie Knightley
Director of Sport