Australian cricketer Alyssa Healy on the pressures of the game
Unafraid of mincing her words and known for wearing her loyal heart on her sleeve, Commonwealth Bank Southern Star Alyssa Healy has to be content to let her batting rather than keeping do the talking for her place on the Australian women’s cricket team following the return from injury of captain Jodie Fields. Will it be a case of always the bridesmaid for this strategically deep thinking niece of Australia’s legendary keeper Ian Healy?
“In the future,” says the 21 year old, “maybe Jodie might give the gloves away and I will be right there to take them off her.”
Cricket might be a team sport but Healy describes it as “one of the most individual team sports you will find.”
“Out there batting, it is really just you,” she explains about the weight resting on the shoulders of the individual players and herself in particular with the pressure of her role in the team being dependent on what she admits is her weaker talent. “It is so mentally tough. When you see the ball come out of the bowlers hand you almost know you have to move forward or you have to move back.”
The mental side of the game is as taxing as the physical says Healy, although she says a player’s performance on the field is determined by preparation off the field and management of concentration during a match.
The level of focus required to concentrate during a match is only sustainable for an hour, says Healy of advice given by the Stars’ sports psychiatrist. “We have to find a way to get that hour and spread it through the day.”
Healy showed her ability to do this while wearing the gloves during Fields’ absence, and being a part of their historic 2010 ICC T20 World Cup win against the New Zealand White Ferns.
“Just playing for Australia itself drives you”, she says as she prepares again to take on the White Ferns.
Healy accepts that cricket is not for allwomen, but is keen to give of her time and effort to those women and girls keen to get involved. It would seem with an ever-growing number of followers on Twitter (@ahealy77) she is a pied piper of women’s cricket and a happy advocate for her sport.
Healy discusses the mental, physical and personal challenges of the game in the third of four short films that provide a new insight into the four Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars ambassadors, released during the team’s 2012 campaign against New Zealand.
TO WATCH “ Mind Games | Playing the Healy Way” http://www.youtube.com/watch?
FOLLOW THE COMMONWEALTH BANK SOUTHERN STARS http://www.cricket.com.au/
This week, the Southern Stars seek to retain the Rose Bowl with ODIs scheduled for Wednesday 25, Friday 27 and Sunday 29 January.
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars look to take a clean sweep of 5 from 5 matches after winning the first three T20 matches against New Zealand on Friday 20th, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of January 2012. The final T20 Internationals will be broadcast on Channel Nine:
Wednesday 1st Feb Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v NZ at Sydney Olympic Park NINE 2.05PM AEDT
Friday 3rd Feb Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v NZ MCG