MENTAL PREPARATION: Former Trinidad and Tobago cricketer Zaheer Ali, right, speaks to the national youth teams at a seminar at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain Couva on Saturday. —Photo courtesy Zaheer Ali Foundation

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U-17s grateful to ZAF

By \\\\\ Roger Seepersad

Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 skipper Bryan Boodram was full of praise for the Zaheer Ali Foundation (ZAF) seminar titled “Competencies of the Stars” which he said helped his team get into the right frame of mind for the upcoming Regional Under-17 championships starting next week in Tobago.

The seminar was conducted at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain Couva on Saturday and was attended by members of the national Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 teams, was initiated by ZAF and was given the green light by the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) with TTCB president Azim Bassarath and TTCB executive member and chairman of the Youth Development Committee Tarandath Sammy endorsing and commending the Foundation for the initiative and hinted at further collaboration.

The T&T Under-17 skipper believes one of his team’s strengths will be their mental preparation and that being part of the seminar will be an advantage for his side who are the defending Regional Under-17 champions.

“I am sure that it will give the T&T team an edge. Once we remain focus and positive we should be able to come out on top,” said Boodram.

“We have been doing some psychological sessions and I think that is a key factor and should work out well for us in the long term.

“The seminar helped to keep our minds focused and helped to refine the goals we have for the tournament and what we need to do to be successful,” he added.

The “Competencies of the Stars” seminar focused on some of the core competencies which included representing one’s country, emotional competence, motivation, vision, goal setting, communication, critical thinking and problem solving.

It was conducted in three phases comprising both theory and practical exercises which were executed by facilitators which included World Bank Scholarship Winner Haleema Ali-Sisbane, Economist Janelle Awai and former West Indies youth captain Zaheer Ali.

Ali in his justification for the seminar at the opening ceremony stated that “it is imperative that we adopt measures to develop our national youth cricketers in a holistic manner which would complement their talent and ability to play cricket.”

He added that the TTCB must adopt a proactive approach to ensure the continued success of our national youth teams insisted that and in light of the challenges we face as a nation, where our youths are concerned, such an approach would impact positively on the overall development of not only the athlete but the person.

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