Charles Tyrwhitt ambassador and arguably England’s greatest ever batsman Joe Root explains how he manages pressure and expectation…
*Main image: Joe Root wears the Charles Tyrwhitt Navy Merino Crew Neck Jumper (£79.95), Stone Slim-Fit Linen Jacket (£249.95), Navy Slim-Fit Natural Stretch Twill Suit Trouser (£100), and Chocolate Brown Nubuck Slip-On Shoe (£99.95)
Since making his debut against India in 2012, Joe Root has become not only the backbone of England’s Test match line-up, but arguably the best batsman his country has ever produced.
As the much-hyped men’s 2023 Ashes Series is underway – already featuring a first innings century from the man himself in England’s dramatic defeat to Australia – Root tells Men’s Fitness how manages the mental challenges of being the man in the middle.
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Men’s Fitness: How has your approach changed to big games, and what advice do you give to younger players joining the set-up?
Joe Root: When I was younger, I just went out to enjoy the experience. Now I’m older I understand that this is a real opportunity to go and do something special, or be part of a team that can go and achieve something that’s going to be remembered for a long time.
You’ve got a chance to affect things – and that should be an exciting prospect, not a daunting one. I guess one of my roles will be trying to make sure the guys are in that frame of mind when it comes down to those big games.
MF: Who helps you get into that right frame of mind yourself?
JR: There are occasions when I will sit down and try to talk things through, whether it’s with the psychologists or just with other senior players that have been in similar sort of positions and similar scenarios.
You need to have a sounding board to bounce ideas off and use some people that you really trust to make sure that you’re all feeling in the right frame of mind.
MF: And what about when things don’t go to plan?
JR: I think we all know that sports are not perfect and it’s very difficult to be in that sweet spot all the time. It’s really important that you don’t panic when you don’t feel 100%, or you don’t always feel completely calm or in control.
That’s where the hours of practice and work that you’ve done previously have to come into play. You have to trust in your own ability and your own game to still be able to get a performance out of yourself that’s worthy of getting your team in a good position.
MF: You recently partnered with Charles Tyrwhitt, so you’re not always in cricket whites and tracksuits now?
JR: That’s true. They’re great. I’ve got the opportunity to turn up at a black-tie dinner looking very smart and dapper and also got some brilliant casual clothing wear.
I’ve got a favourite Charles Tyrwhitt casual jacket which I’m sure I’ll be getting out quite frequently during the English summer!
Shop Charles Tyrwhitt’s range of casual and formal menswear at charlestyrwhitt.com