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Ted Garratt has used all of his experience in the business world to make a massive contribution to Leicestershire CCC over the years. Ted works with the players and staff in the area of sport psychology, which has taken an increasingly important role in cricket over the years. It is a fascinating topic for discussion and Ted explains that his route into the sporting world from corporate life started as a “labour of love”. He said: “All of my psychology experience was in the corporate and business world. I’d been a human resource manager for a multinational company and 20-odd years ago, I set up my own consultancy. It was for the corporate world - I did local government, banking, companies and so on. “Then, as a labour of love, I wrote a book on sport psychology, which came out in 1999. It wasn’t a plan, but that triggered people interested in using me in sport. I was taking a lot of leadership, team-building and coaching stuff from the business world and bringing it into sport. A lot of people normally take a lot of sport into business, so I was coming at it from a slightly different angle. “A lot of the stuff is very translatable. One of the differences in sport is the immediacy of results. But having said that, I started at Leicestershire in 2002 and it was Phil Whitticase who brought me in. It’s ebbed and flowed a little bit and changed in nature but I’ve been involved ever since, and Phil is now Director of Cricket.” Sport psychology undoubtedly plays a big role in sport, and cricket is a unique sport in many ways. There is lots of time to mull things over and although it is a team sport, the individual comes to the fore. It is a difficult mindset in many ways, as Ted explains. He said: “The mind plays a big role in cricket, and sports like golf and tennis, because there is a lot of down-time. In golf, you might miss a crucial putt and you’re walking to the next tee with your head full of stuff. “A batsman once told me about an experience where he sat in his pads all day and never got to bat. But he had to be thinking about the possibility all day because he might have been in next ball. In other sports, you can physically work your way into it. In cricket, golf, and tennis, where there’s a lot of time for thinking, sometimes the harder you try to get it right, the harder you are making it for yourself. “You don’t need to be at 100 per cent all of the time. You don’t need to be at 100 per cent at the non-striker’s end, for example. The classic example is Michael Atherton after his long innings in South Africa that time. When asked how he managed to concentrate for that long, the answer was ‘I didn’t.’ It is a bit of a cliché but you have to use a mental thermostat. You need to be able to turn it down one or two notches when required.” Ted, who also works in other sports, including rugby at Leicester Tigers, says the role of psychology has evolved in both business and sport. He feels that the perception is changing in a positive way - the concept is now widely accepted as part of everyday life. He said: “The younger players at Leicestershire are introduced to it early. All through the winter, the Academy lads have fortnightly sessions, and we have also formal sessions with the pros. A lot of sports psychology aspects, and personality profiling, is now a part of level four (the highest level) for the coaches. The whole interest in the area of psychology and personal development has taken off in the last ten years. “Some experienced guys would cherry-pick areas of sports psychology and can see it as being sports psychology, but others will deliberately poo-poo it because it has had a stigma over the years. They will still be doing it - and it is pure sports psychology - but they’re not calling it that! That’s fine; it’s more important that they have routines and processes that work for them. “It’s getting slightly more formal now with the ECB auditing clubs but we have tried to keep it as informal as possible for the players. They know they have total access to me if they want to but the tricky part of it, which is the anomaly of life, is that those who need it the most, often want it the least. So it all comes down to the relationship. “My biggest beef, and this applies to business too, is that the role is often seen as remedial – you’ve got to have a problem to use it. The more forward-looking businesses and sports teams use psychology as a development tool. They make the top performers even better. The popular perception is the joke about the couch, and seeing someone when you have a problem. I have never approached it that way.”