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UK Coaching Team
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Children Young people Developing Mindsets Organising and Planning

Ben Stokes: Developing the Mindset of a Champion

In 2019, Ben Stokes reinforced his reputation as the man for a big occasion. Carrie Dunn spoke to his first coach in England, Jon Gibson, about laying the foundations for a winning mindset

At Cockermouth Cricket Club, Jon worked with Ben to develop his batting and bowling. But it’s the mental side of the game that provided the biggest challenge.

When Ben was a teenager, just selected for the England under-15 squad, he sat down for a quiet chat with his Cockermouth CC coach.

I said, ‘Just be careful of banana skins that people will throw in your way,’” Jon recalls. “I said, ‘Ben, there will be people jealous of what you’ve achieved…people will try to throw things in your way to belittle what you’ve done, [and tell you] you’re not that good,’ and sure enough that was happening.

Jon says it often happens that young people need tailored guidance from their coach to support them as they move into the next phase of their sporting career – whether they are recreational players or potential professionals.

“It might well be that you’re teaching people that they need to be fitter, that they need a different diet, that they need to put in more practice, or they need to practise just one particular skill,” he says.

“Each one requires different things, and it’s the skill of the coach to understand what that individual needs.”

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