With the pressure to perform in every match and the media panning their eyes on cricketers, it is quite common for them to go through phases of uneasiness where they spend their days recklessly thinking about the future.
Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Sarah Taylor have opened up about their battles with mental health issues, with Sarah even hanging her boots at the early age of 30 after going through anxiety episodes.
Recently, in an interaction with Unacademy, former Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar talked about his combat with anxiety and stated that in his brain, the matches used to start much before he entered the field.
“Over a period of time I realised 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,” Tendulkar revealed.
Elaborating on the same, the maestro added that he had sleepless nights for a dozen years and after some time accepted that his anxiety levels were high.
“I felt anxiety for 10-12 years, and had many sleepless nights before a game. Later on I started accepting that it was part of my preparation. Then I made peace with the times I was not able to sleep at night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable,” the 48-year-old admitted.
The veteran batsman adumbrated that he used to do a couple of familiar activities like watching TV, shadow batting, prepare morning tea which helped him getting ready for the game ahead.
“That “something” included shadow batting, watching TV and playing video games in the wee hours of the day. Even making his morning cup of tea helped 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,” the former opener added.
Tendulkar further opined that there was nothing wrong with having mental health issues and urged everyone to acknowledge a player’s mental health so that the solution could be implemented as soon as possible to alleviate the sufferer.
“When there is an injury, physios and doctors examine you and diagnose what is wrong with you. Same is the case with mental health. It is normal for anyone to go through ups and downs and when you hit those lows you need people around. Acceptability is the key here. Not just for the player, for people around him also. Once you have accepted you start looking for solutions,” the Master Blaster reckoned.
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