By Ravi Madholall
USA Cricket Manager and Level 3 Coach Tom Evans of ICC Americas declared that the USA players have benefited significantly after they gathered at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) for a camp.
“The purpose of the camp was to expose the National Men’s squad to a high performance environment, so they can better understand all the different components that go into being a top level athlete,” Evans related.
He continued to state that the development is about process and once the players willing to learn their game it will enhance through camp like this one.
“For US cricket to get to World Cup and sustain a high performing national team long into the future, these guys need to be doing all they can to make themselves and each other better athletes and people, not just better cricketers,” Evans emphasized.
Quizzed on the reaction of the players, the experienced Evans mentioned he and the national coach were very pleased with the players’ enthusiasm and eagerness to learn as much.
“The National Coach and I were very pleased with the approach of the players to the camp. Being immersed in a world-class facility like the (OTC), where Team USA Olympic athletes eat, sleep, train was definitely something new to a lot of these guys and I think it will be a memorable experience that hopefully pushes them to keep working harder to earn more opportunities like this,” Evans commented.
He continued: “I also think the players enjoyed seeing a few of the other resident athletes in the dining hall or weights room and chatting about their training and careers. It’s nice for these cricketers to feel a part of something wider than just cricket, I think meeting these other athletes helped to increase their pride for wearing the ‘Team USA’ on their chest.”
According to Evans, the players were involved stringent physical training while fielding sessions, weight rooms and conditioning workouts were done.
In addition to that, the players were also given the opportunity to climb the infamous Manitou Incline which is a climb of 2000 feet over a mile in distance.
“This was a good bonding exercise to test the guys mental resilience as well as physical fitness; in terms of the mental side of things there were lots of educational sessions and practical activities that the players were a part of, these included: Learning about USA swimming’s Champion team culture; Media Training; Sports psychology/mental skills and goal setting and Sports nutrition,” Evans explained.
He spoke about the other benefits during the camp and encouraged the players to capitalize on the opportunity.
“Sports psychology was excellent, cricket is often spoken about as a ‘mental game’ but we broke that down what that actually means; players learned practical, mental skills they can use and practice to become stronger in their mind so that their natural athletic ability can flourish,” the Australian-born Evans divulged.
Meanwhile, the USA team won the 2016 ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 4 limited-over championship which was played in Los Angeles early November. They defeated Oman by 13 runs.
They and Oman will now play in WCL Division 3 soon and will be joined by Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and host-nation Uganda in the next phase of qualification for the pathway to the 2019 ICC World Cup.