Olympic ad­vice keeps Will go­ing

Richard Latham finds out how a psy­chol­o­gist is help­ing Will Tavare

The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

Glouces­ter­shire bats­man Will Tavare gives much of the credit for his re­turn to form this sea­son to an Olympic ath­lete and an ex-Eng­land rugby player.

The ath­lete is Bri­tish 400 me­tre run­ner Emily Di­a­mond. It was at her sug­ges­tion that Tavare be­gan to visit Paul Hull, the for­mer Bris­tol and Eng­land full-back, for ses­sions in psy­chol­ogy.

Last sea­son the 27-year-old Bris­to­lian was badly hit by in­jury and bereavement as he man­aged only 112 first class runs in ten in­nings, an av­er­age of just 11.2.

But it has been a dif­fer­ent story this sum­mer. A half-cen­tury in each in­nings against Durham fol­lowed two first class hun­dreds against Durham MCCU and Le­ices­ter­shire and left Tavare with a more than healthy av­er­age of 57.5.

He said: “Last sum­mer was very tough for me. I hurt my knee in a pre-sea­son game with Ox­ford MCCU and it took a long time to get it any­where near right.

“I had never been in­jured to that ex­tent be­fore and a close fam­ily friend passed away so there was a lot kick­ing off over the same pe­riod.

“After all that it was good to have a win­ter away from play­ing matches and, while I haven’t al­tered much tech­ni­cally, I have done a lot of psy­chol­ogy, which seems to have worked re­ally well.

“A friend of mine, Emily Di­a­mond, men­tioned Paul Hull had helped her, so I de­cided to con­tact him.

“Paul is a teacher at Prior Park Col­lege in Bath, but he also does some psy­chol­ogy. I go to him for ses­sions of around an hour with the ob­ject of clear­ing my head and help­ing me be stronger men­tally. I didn’t think the bereavement last year af­fected me as much as it clearly did.”

Tavare hit 1,014 first class runs in 2014, his first sea­son with Glouces­ter­shire after mov­ing up from lo­cal club cricket.

Nephew of for­mer Kent and Eng­land bats­man Chris Tavare, he av­er­aged 39 that sum­mer and 32 the fol­low­ing year be­fore suf­fer­ing the knee in­jury while field­ing that made the 2016 cam­paign some­thing of a write-off.

Side­lined for the first two months of the 2016 cam­paign, he re­turned for six of the last seven Cham­pi­onship games with­out ever find­ing his best form.

“The knee still gets swollen now,” he said. “But our fit­ness staff have done a great job and I am told it will set­tle down with time. I be­lieve what hap­pened last sea­son will make me stronger. I have al­ways been de­ter­mined to score runs and that is cer­tainly the case now.”

PIC­TURES: Getty Im­ages

Over­com­ing: Will Tavare has bat­tled back from in­jury and bereavement to star for Glouces­ter­shire while Graham Onions, in­set, picked up five wick­ets in the match

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