Renowned sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters claims he did little more than give Jonathan Trott the tools to rebuild his England career.
Warwickshire batsman Trott touched down in the West Indies with England on Thursday night, back in the international set-up for the first time since leaving last winter’s Ashes tour with a stress-related illness.
Trott has spoken openly of his struggles since, but has slowly rehabilitated his career with both Warwickshire and the England Lions and is now on the brink of returning to Tests.
Looking forward to heading off next week to West Indies with @ECB_cricket. Thanks for all the messages of support
— Jonathan Trott (@Trotty) March 26, 2015
The 33-year-old has worked extensively with Dr Peters during the last year, learning from a man who has done notable work with the British cycling team, Liverpool and snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Explaining the entire process in The Independent, Peters said there is no magic cure and that Trott had worked hard to counter his problems, which he described as “situational anxiety”.
He wrote: “He ticked all the boxes. It was a foregone conclusion to me that he would make massive progress – I just hoped that he would then perform as he has been doing and justify his place. Now he has done that.
“He’s an incredible cricketer. The advice I give to most of the people I work with is not to go public because obviously you’re training people to do a skill. A lot of people don’t understand that it is a skill and therefore you might not get it right.
“People are expecting a magicwand cure and that’s not really the way it works. Jonathan decided he wanted to go public about this because he has done so well.
“It’s a credit to the man. You can have periods in sport, sometimes a whole season, when things just aren’t happening and you’re just digging even harder to make it happen again – that’s effectively what Jonathan has done.
“From a psychological point of view, Jonathan is quite robust and certainly determined. It was just a case of giving him the tools to understand what was going on.”
Peters, who helped mentor the golden generation of British cyclists and also worked with O’Sullivan for his last two world titles, can see no reason why Trott won’t make a successful return to Test cricket.
“What Jonathan did was to take it very seriously, he meant business, which is a measure of the man,” he added.
“He was very open, hardworking, and what I effectively told him to do was to get some insights into the way his mind was working. Then it was up to him to operate [his mind] in the way he wanted it to, rather than it dictating to him what was going happen.
“I don’t have a recipe for people. It’s up to the player himself to manage the mind in the way they want to in the future. That’s something anyone can do, it’s not something you only do when you’re distressed. Jonathan had what became a situational anxiety, and once that was understood, he was able to manage it.
“My feeling is that he’ll do very well and he won’t have any problems now because he has that insight.”
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