International cricket star Stuart Broad returned to Oakham School to give an insightful talk to current pupils and staff about resilience in sport last term.
Broad took the time to visit his former school before heading off to join his England teammates at their training camp.
He took part in a Q&A session with director of sport Iain Simpson, where he answered a range of questions about his cricketing career and how he copes with the demands the sport places on him both mentally and physically. The event was part of Oakham’s Sports Scholar programme, where students are given the chance to hone all aspects of their sporting talents.
Broad, one of England’s star bowlers, began his cricketing career aged 11 at Oakham. During the event, he said, “I did all my learning here at Oakham, as well as in the back garden at home.” He then went on during the course of the lecture to cite some of the particular techniques and approaches he had learnt during his time at Oakham that he had found to be most useful. In particular, when asked the question, ‘How do you decide which coach to listen to?’ he recalled his time with the then director of cricket, Frank Hayes, and how he had advised him to “not make it too complicated, and to break it all down to its simplest form”.
He left students with some startlingly clear advice on how to exceed: “Make your basics better than anyone else’s.”
And “Whilst it is good to have flair and get complicated, the key is to keep those basics strong.”