Sachin Tendulkar, the God of cricket and legend, admitted on Sunday that he struggled with anxiety for the majority of his career before realising that his pre-game quirks were an integral part of his preparation.
Tendulkar said acceptability is the key when it comes to mental wellbeing, which has become more important in the COVID era with players spending a lot of time in bio-bubbles.
Sachin Tendulkar in live session with Unacademy
“Over period of time I realized that besides preparing physically for a game, you have to prepare yourself mentally also. In my mind the match started long before I entered the ground. The anxiety levels were very high,”.
“I felt the anxiety for 10-12 years, had many sleepless nights before a game. Later on I started accepting that it was part of my preparation. The I made peace with times I was not able to sleep in the night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable.”
Even, making a cup of tea in the morning helped him prepare for the game.
“Making tea, ironing my clothes also helped me prepare for the game. I would pack my bag the day before the game, my brother taught me all of it and it became a habit. I followed the same drill even in the last match I played for India,”
Tendulkar said that a player is bound to experience ups and downs, but it is important to admit when one is down.
“Acceptability is the key here. Not just for the player, for people around him also. Once you have accepted you start looking for solutions.”
He emphasized that one can learn from anyone, as he learn from hotel staff in Chennai during his playing days.
“That person got me dosa in the room and after keeping it on the table, he offered an advice. He pointed out that my elbow guard was restricting my bat swing, which was actually the case. He helped me address that issue”, Tendulkar said in live session.
Tendulkar also praised frontline workers for their selfless and tireless efforts during COVID-19 pandemic.