Commando training the preparation of choice for Netherlands ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup Quali

Tue, Feb 10, 2009 5:26 PM

Reaching the ICC Cricket World Cup has always been a challenge, but the Netherlands national side took their preparation one step further by embarking on a survival weekend with the Dutch Commando forces at the end of January.

Far more than a team-building weekend, Sergeant Major Jack Scheepers and his fellow Commandos planned and delivered a physically and mentally demanding programme: tasked with building their own shelter in the woods in -5 degrees C temperatures and cooking their own meals over an open fire, the team were also thrown into a number of challenging assault-style exercises by day.

Peter Drinnen, National Coach for the Netherlands Cricket Team, summarised the weekend's experiences: "I believe this weekend made us all aware that a strong mind can overcome most things. What we encountered required all of us to be strong and supportive of each other. It is amazing what you can achieve if you trust and believe in your fellow teammates."

When asked what he found to be the most challenging, Drinnen's memory of the night spent in their self-constructed shelter is still fresh in his mind: "It is amazing how you start to appreciate the small things in life. The small camp bed we slept on the next night felt like a hotel bed."

He added, "The tower climb also challenged most people: there was the obvious physical aspect to the climb, but it was more the mental aspect to overcome".

Not only were there physical lessons to learn, the Commandos also shared valuable insightful on how best to deal with pressure-packed situations -something that the national coach can only draw strong parallels with as he leads his team down the rigorous road of ICC Cricket World Cup qualification 2009: "There were many lessons that we can all take away from the weekend and no doubt some of these will be added to what I do in my line of work as well as my every day life," Drinnen said. "It was a real privilege to be able to experience what we did."

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