WI aim to make home turf count

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):West Indies batting coach Toby Radford said yesterday that the regional side would try to make home advantage count in the upcoming Twenty20 series against Pakistan, as they attempted to make amends for their dismal showing last September.Just seven months ago, the reigning T20 World champions found themselves on the end of a humiliating series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates as Pakistan convincingly won the three-match series on ‘home turf’.However, with much more familiar conditions expected, Radford said he was anticipating a change in fortunes.”I think the big thing when we played out there is we found that the pitches were particularly slow and obviously suited their spin bowlers, and they made very, very big boundaries and made us run a lot,” the Englishman pointed out.The four-match series opens on Sunday at Kensington Oval here before heading to Trinidad and Tobago for the last three games at Queen’s Park Oval.West Indies have been in training since they assembled on Wednesday and Radford said everyone looked in fine form.”We had a good session this morning and all the batters looked in really good touch, which is encouraging,” he said.”There’s one big game coming up in Barbados this weekend and then it’s off to Trinidad for three games there. It will be a really exciting series and, hopefully, they’ll put in a really good performance.”While the side will be without the likes of T20 stars Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, it includes other big names like batsmen Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, along with leg-spinner Samuel Badree.GOOD FORMSelectors have also opted for first-timers Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed and Veerasammy Permaul coming on the heels of their good form against England in the recent one-day series, and the move is one Radford endorsed.”Carter and Jason Mohammed played very well in the 50-over tournament recently against England, and I think it is great their form has been recognised by the board and they’ve been given an opportunity in this format as well,” he pointed out.Radford continued: “I think it’s an exciting team, a mix of real talent that’s been there and done it and some youngsters who show real quality, and I think putting those together, I would love to see [West Indies] put some good performances together.”last_img read more

South Africa’s Rugby World Cup journey

first_imgAs the kick-off to the Rugby World Cup in England draws closer, we look back at the highs and lows of South Africa’s performances since it rejoined the sport internationally in 1992. Since then, the Springboks have won the tournament twice and hope to make it third time lucky this year. The Boks’ first game in this World Cup is against Japan on 19 September in Brighton. One of South Africa’s proudest moments was winning the Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg in 1995, fresh out of apartheid. (Image: Brand South Africa) • South Africa announces 2015 Rugby World Cup squad • South Africa to host Commonwealth Games in 2022• South Africa in top 20 best places to raise children • South African foodies cooking up a storm  • Clive Rice: South African cricketing icon dies at 66  Text: Priya PitamberGraphic: Sifiso NkabindeThings moved quickly for South Africa’s rugby team, the Springboks, following the team’s re-admittance into international rugby in 1992.Before that, international sanctions because of the country’s repressive apartheid laws included sport. But by 1995, South Africa was basking in its new democracy, with Nelson Mandela the first democratically elected president.During the same year, it also hosted rugby’s biggest event, the World Cup; it became a necessary unifying force for a nation recuperating from years of segregation.At the final between South Africa and New Zealand at the then Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, Mandela wore the Springbok jersey of the team captain, Francois Pienaar, a white Afrikaner. They embraced, and that image became a symbolic gesture of racial reconciliation. It was met with a joyous uproar from the packed stadium.At the end of the tournament South Africa walked away with the ultimate prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, as the trophy is known.Relive some of those moments from 1995:Click on the image below for a larger view.Sources: The Telegraph and Wikipedialast_img read more

How To Love Your Job

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Your job and your work may be very different things. Your job is something you do so that you can make money. You may not want to go to your job, but you might have to if you want to survive.Your work, on the other hand, is something you do to produce results. You might do your real work at your job, or you might do your real work outside of your job. But if you want to love your job, you have to treat it like it’s your work.Give Yourself OverIf you want to love your job, you have to give yourself over to it. It doesn’t matter what your job is, there is a way that you can make it something more. One of my favorite quotes of all time makes this point better than anything I might write.Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”That one quote explains what you need to do to give yourself over to your job. Your job is what you make of it.Do More Than Is ExpectedThere aren’t too many things worse than doing what is expected of you, especially if you are the recipient of that low standard. Mediocrity isn’t in any way sexy or interesting. How could it be exciting for you to create something mediocre?If you want to love your job, you have to do more than is expected of you. You have to take things up a notch or two. You have to surprise people. Doing more than is expected is going to require that you be resourceful and that you take the initiative. But it is worth it.Find New Ways To Be ValuableWe humans are novelty-seeking creatures. We like new and interesting things. We’re made this way. When you do the same things over and over again, you can allow things to become tedious. The way to keep this from happening is to find new ways to create value for the people you serve.What needs to be done that isn’t getting done? What new tasks could you take on? What are most of your peers trying to avoid? The more value you create, the more interesting and engaging your job will be. You will also find that the very act of seeking out new ways to create value is the surest recipe for being promoted into roles of greater responsibility—and the financial remuneration that comes with it.Inspire Others with Your AttitudeWhen people go to their jobs, they say things like, “I hate Mondays,” or “Thank God it’s Friday.” They also say things like, “I’m just living the dream,” a strong indication that they are bored, unengaged, and bring very little of themselves to their job. Hanging around with the crowd with the black cloud over their heads is only going to infect you with what they’re carrying.Instead of buying into the idea that your job is terrible, have some fun and inspire others with your attitude. When things go wrong, be positive in insisting you can solve the problem. Client unhappy about mistakes? Call them and tell them you are on it and that you own it. Being accountable alone will turn your client around.Look it’s not easy to do these things when you are surrounded by slackers, cynics, and burnouts. But either they are working to influence you, or you are working on influencing them. Raise your personal standard and pull as many people up with you as possible.If you can learn to bring your best self to your job, it will help you tremendously should you ever decide to hang up your shingle and do your work.last_img read more

Lean Forward and Lean Backwards Presentations

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now There are two types of presentations, and they are very different. Because your audience has different expectations, choosing the wrong presentation type may cause you to fail in achieving your outcome, whether that be to inform, inspire, or compel action.Lean Backward PresentationsA lot of the advice given to presenters isn’t good advice for every situation, especially sales situations. You are not giving a “Ted Talk” when you are presenting in a board room. That said, you may be giving a “Lean Backward” presentation.Your audience may expect and want you to present. They may want you to provide them with information, tell your story, and provide ideas about what your solution might look like. Even if there is a C-Level executive in the room, their expectation may be that you are briefing them, and they expect to lean backwards, and ask their questions at the end of your presentation.Lean Forward PresentationsSome presentations are a dialogue. It doesn’t matter whether or not you prepared a slide deck, meticulously laid out your case, and that your intention is to drive through the deck, logically laying out your arguments. If your prospective client, your audience, is expecting a lean forward presentation, you are going to engage in a dialogue.In a “Lean Forward” presentation, your audience has questions and ideas they want to share with you. You may prompt those questions by sharing ideas and information with your client, but their primary outcome is to get answers to their questions. There are some C-Level executives who have no interest in leaning backwards to watch you present. They simply need answers, and you need to provide them.Close The LaptopI once had a meeting with a client and I brought a slide deck that had incredible graphics and would answer any question he might ask. When I sat down he said, “Don’t open your laptop. I have a list of questions I need you to answer.” Sitting in front of him was a yellow legal pad with about 18 questions written on the first page.All of the questions would’ve been answered had I used the slide deck, but that wasn’t the presentation my audience needed. I closed the laptop, and  began to answer his questions one by one. He would’ve enjoyed the graphics in the presentation that I might have shown him and that would have supported our conversation. But he wanted a “Lean Forward” presentation. And that’s what he got. And I won his business. How do you prepare to give the presentation your audience wants, needs, and expects from you?How do you prepare to deliver a “Lean Forward” presentation?last_img read more

Big W never ceases to charm players

first_imgIndoor tennis is typical of Europe where, in winters, the snow cover is thick and the winds are chilly. The obvious choice was to play on indoor carpets or indoor hard surfaces with no interruption from nature.In the good old days at Wimbledon, players had to as much fear the surface as the weather because the combination of the two could make it so difficult on slick grass.Times have changed – literally.When the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club decided that a retractable roof was a must for the Centre Court, reactions were mixed. But now it is accepted that Centre Court is fine to play on even under cover.In an age when tennis players have the next week’s schedule fixed months in advance, nobody wants to stay beyond a fortnight at Wimbledon. And another reason is that players did feel the pressure of playing more than one match in a day in case rain delays wrought havoc.Thanks to the retractable roof at Wimbledon, this fortnight we have seen marquee matches on the Centre Court despite sharp showers outside. On Tuesday, for instance while the big players continued with their matches under lights, a total of 43 matches got washed out.So efficient is the referee’s office at Wimbledon that matches are rearranged for the next day and the time lost is made up. However, a suggestion has already been made that in the next expansion plan at the All England Club, Court One should also have a retractable roof! A local paper reported that this proposal will be discussed later in 2012 after the London Olympics, though reactions have been muffled.advertisementTENNIS at Wimbledon has undergone as big change, as I had written last week. Grasscourt specialists are extinct and if today some players do approach the net for volleys, it’s more a strategy to negate the opponent.And that’s how, on Friday, we got to see the huge Jo- Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic engage in net duels.Former Wimbledon champions like Goran Ivanisevic and Richard Krajicek have played on the slower Wimbledon this fortnight in the seniors’ event on Centre Court, with a bewildered look on their faces.The grass is slower and, when the retractable roof is pulled back, it looks nice. Yet, the purists don’t really like this.So how does the next proposal to make Court One playable in all kinds of weather work? Insiders say nothing is going to be done till the end of the Olympics in 2012.There is just a three- week gap between the end of The Championships and the Olympic tennis competition. The bigger charm for participating nations is that the Olympics will be played on grass.In the normal course, one would have imagined, with the wear- and- tear on grass, it would be impossible to get the courts ready for the Olympics.One cannot forget that towards the end of July in 2012, there is as much chance of rain as now. But nobody is worried about how the courts will be readied for the Olympics as the ground staff efficiency at Wimbledon is of a high order.Tennis was never a high- profile event at the Olympics when it was reintroduced as medal sport at Seoul in 1988. In that year, Steffi Graf won all the Grand Slam titles and the Olympic gold to make it a ‘ Golden Slam’. From Roger Federer to Venus and Serena Williams, each one has spoke about the romance which Wimbledon will again offer next year, though it’s about the Olympics.Past greats like John McEnroe feel Federer will bounce back and win more Grand Slam titles if he can sustain his hunger. But I am certain Federer craves for an Olympic singles medal and next year again assumes significance. AT A time when the playing surface at Wimbledon has offered no huge surprises, there has been predictability. Bad bounce is not to be seen and the ball comes at a height and pace where any player can adjust his strokes.Some of the clay-court specialists and hard-court tennis lovers play on Wimbledon with the same comfort, though the smarter ones believe in bending their knees to execute shots with more grace.Unlike The Championships, the Olympic draw is very different.It is not a draw of 128 but half the size in singles. But what’s more important in this is, all the top players don’t get into the singles and doubles draws as the emphasis is more on country representation.advertisementRomantic relics like Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are hoping they can play their fifth Olympics together, having first played at Atlanta in 1996. If someone says they are a medal prospect, take it with a table spoon full of salt.Then again, based on the ATP and WTA rankings in June 2012, we will get to know in which draws Sania Mirza, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna get in.Am I thinking too early about it? Not so, since from the Williams sisters to lesser- known tennis journeymen, the Olympic tennis event is already being discussed.last_img read more

Film Study: Breaking Down the Play of Mason Rudolph

first_imgCMPATTYDSCMP%YPATDINT Rudolph’s stats aren’t eye-popping but they are efficient. The problem is that stats aren’t everything. If you took a person who just watched the game and another person who just looked at the stats and asked them both to tell you how Rudolph did, they would likely have very different answers.Ideally, his performance will soon start to match his stats, and when that happens, he will solidify himself as one of the best quarterbacks not only in the Big 12, but in the country as well.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! 143231203961.98.83132center_img Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph has had an exceptional season so far, but he hasn’t been completely perfect. The Cowboys are headed into the back half of a tough Big 12 schedule featuring an undefeated West Virginia at home and Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma all on the road.Rudolph’s play will be one of the most important factors in all of these games, so in anticipation for an excellent back half of the season, let’s take a look at how Rudolph has performed thus far.Rudolph has shown the ability to make the tough throws time and time again. There have been plenty of plays where he fit the ball in a small window down the field:sl_postAnd he’s proven that he can effectively lead his receivers on the deep ball to the sideline:outsideWhere Rudolph has struggled is in the short and intermediate game. Oftentimes, especially on RPO (run-pass option) throws, Rudolph’s high throws result in either killing any possible YAC for the receiver:high4Or sailing over the receiver’s head:highHe has also, on occasion, missed some wide-open receivers downfield:miss_deepOSU head coach Mike Gundy said that Rudolph’s physical limitations contributed to his lack of intermediate accuracy. “He got hit in the Texas game and wasn’t very effective, in my opinion, on some throws in the next game because he just couldn’t really rotate his body a little bit,” Gundy said. “And that caused some issues with him.”There were rumors that he was banged up in a few early games as well.Hopefully Rudolph has used the bye week to fully recover, because once he cleans up his missed throws in the short game, he becomes an elite quarterback. Rudolph is seventh in the nation in passing yards per game and he’s one of only two players in the FBS who have over 200 pass attempts and only two interceptions.last_img read more