Camp John

    Make the effort, to heck with the results!

    "Results are secondary, effort is prime!"

    That, in a nutshell, is the John Wright philosophy. The Kiwi veteran of 82 Tests is obviously out to make a difference. And his guiding mantra is -- it doesn't matter where you are, the most important thing is to know where you are headed.

    That mindset makes for a very radical coaching camp -- where expect the unexpected seems to be the motto.

    13camp2.jpg - 13149 Bytes Like the other day, when Wright got all 25 probables to get together in the team hotel, where he had arranged a special screening of Remember the Titans, courtesy Columbia Pictures.

    Like the time John Wright bundled the probables into a team bus, got them driven to the popular Fishermen's Cove resort, on the Mahabalipuram road.Once there, he got the players into a huddle, and asked: 'What are the values this team wants to follow? Does this team have a vision? What does this team want to do? Where is this team headed?'

    "We were split into three groups," a player describes what followed. "And each group was asked to discuss these questions and come up with their own answers. We had to define goals, we had to give ourselves a sense of direction. We were then asked how we wanted to make practice more interesting and more meaningful. All of us, each player, had to make presentations on what we wanted to do in this team, and with this team.

    "In earlier camps we would get to the ground, bat, bowl, field, do things in a haphazard, unplanned fashion. All that has changed," the player elaborates. "Under John, nothing is haphazard, everything is planned,everything has a goal. We are made to understand what we are doing at all times, made to set ourselves small-term and long-term goals. His policy is that everything we do should have a purpose, that each day's practise should have a goal, the camp itself should have a larger goal, and the team should have its own goals for the future that we are supposed to work towards."

    The result? For the first time, the players are getting together as a team, understanding what it means to be a 'team'. And the difference shows, to those of us who have been following this team around -- there is a sense of camaraderie and, more importantly, a very clearly discernible order and method in the camp

    Camp Swampy