More on Instinctual Intelligence. This is a quote from the guy who's been credited with restoring Kevin Pietersen's form and self-belief, Graham Ford:
"I believe that with a player of his talent, the more work he does, the more the body naturally finds ways to anchor those good feelings to bring his game together. It allows him to operate on autopilot. During his time out here [in South Africa] that all started to happen."
In other words, KP had lost touch with his natural instincts, which had served him so well as a young player. As such, he needed to re-learn, through hours of practice, through hours of learning to get back into 'the zone' whilst batting, how to achieve a perfect balance of mind/body/spirit, and begin again to play 'naturally', instinctually, without letting negative thoughts intrude - confident that his calmer mind would allow the right instincts - developed in hours of practice - to operate spontaneously and without inhibition, no matter what the opposition hurled at him.
Of course the Aussies bowled the occasional unplayable ball, and KP still made the odd mistake, but overall there has been massive improvement as a result of working on his 'autopilot'.
The other key intelligence he's done work on is his emotional intelligence. He's been learning to control his natural aggression, his exhuberance and excitability, and knows that the opposition will always try to tempt him into slogging every ball through excessive self-belief and indeed hubris.
He's also acquired a more mature attitude, become a more responsible individual, and a better team player - recognising that his main responsbility is to preserve his wicket and avoid giving it away cheaply as a consequence of glory-seeking and ego-gratification. This is the third dimension of intelligence - social intelligence.
Out-thinking the opposition in terms of strategy and tactics is cerebral intelligence (CQ?) Becoming fitter, better balanced, more supple, with greater strength and stamina, is part of physical intelligence.
Being able to enjoy oneself more by being 'in the zone', and maintaining appropriate self-belief, concentration and confidence, is part of being spiritually strong and spiritually intelligent. As is the determination to practice harder, avoid distractions, become more humble, become more appreciative of one's team mates, etc.
England's togetherness is palpable, a far cry from four years ago when there was tension between captain and coach, and cliques within the dressing room. Pietersen insists that improved results are not the only reason.
"There's definitely more to it than that," he said. "Yes, winning does go a long way, but also keeping your feet on the ground and making sure you keep working hard, keep trying to improve as an individual, a human being and also as a cricketer. Those are the key attributes for a happy dressing room."
For Pietersen, in particular, to speak so warmly of the collective effort emphasis the achievement of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower, as captain and coach, in instilling a sense of purpose and ambition.
Maintaining humility, avoiding hubris, working hard, working for the benefit of others, having a realistic sense of purpose and ambition, respecting oneself and others, trying constantly to improve as an individual human being - these are all aspects of spiritual intelligence, and key attributes in becoming a fully evolved and fully actualised human being. [see Layer 20 - A Positive View of Human Potential]
If the England management would like to get in touch, then Oxzen can supply them with a comprehensive list of 'virtues' to aim for and develop.
And talking of virtues - much respect to Ricky Ponting for the way he conducts himself both on and off the field - recently in very difficult circumstances. Australia have been very fortunate to have him as their leader. People have been using words like 'humiliation' as a consquence of England's recent excellence and Australia's struggles, but Ponting, in spite of playing well below his best, has maintained his dignity pretty much all the time, whilst still competing strongly and showing proper aggression on the field. He was also capable of showing his largeness of spirit in the way he congratulated his opponents after the match, after such a crushing defeat.