Former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni says he also feels pressure while batting
- Former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni spoke on the importance of dealing with the mental aspect of any sport.
- The wicket-keeper batsman also advocated mental conditioning coaches playing a bigger role.
Former World Cup-winning Indian cricket team captain, MS Dhoni, spoke on the importance of the mental aspect of any sport. The CSK skipper talked about the long-term effects the mental side of a sport has on its athletes.
Before the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, MS Dhoni gave his insights during an event by MFORE, an organisation created by his former colleague at CSK and the Indian cricket team, Subramaniam Badrinath.
According to their website, MFORE "aims is to remove the interferences caused by the mind and enable the player to perform to their true potential."
In a press release of the organisation, MS Dhoni was seen talking about the pressure he feels when going into the middle, especially in situations where his team needs a high run-rate to win the match.
Athletes in any sport today need to cope with the mental aspect of the game to maintain their balance, and thereby perform at the highest level. Therefore, Dhoni supported that idea of looking deeper into the psychological side, rather than terming it as mental illness. He also stressed the important role of the coach in that regard.
“In India, I feel there is still a big issue of accepting that there is some weakness when it comes to the mental aspects, but we generally term it as mental illness... Nobody really says that, when I go to bat, the first 5 to 10 deliveries my heart rate is elevated, I feel the pressure, I feel a bit scared because that’s how everybody feels - how to cope with that?.”
“This is a small problem but a lot of times we hesitate to say it to a coach and that’s why the relationship between a player and coach is very important be it any sport.”
MS Dhoni advocated the presence of a mental conditioning coach to help the players of the Indian cricket team, a role that is missing in many teams' support staff even in today's era.
According to him, the mental conditioning coach needs to stay with the members of the Indian cricket team for a longer time than just a couple of weeks. Dhoni said that this is crucial for them to understand the psyche of the players.
“Mental conditioning coach should not be the one who comes for 15 days, because when you come for 15 days you are only sharing the experience...If the mental conditioning coach is constantly with the player, he can understand what are the areas which are affecting his sport... I think mental health and mental clarity is the most important factor in life; not just in sports.”
With the pressure to perform and excel in the sport always hovering over the athletes, many sports personalities in recent times have been brave enough to come forward and share their struggles with the outside world.
Star Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was one such cricketer who took a break to look after his mental well-being. Since then, many cricketers, including the current captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli, have lauded players for having the guts to open up about their issues.
Kuldeep Yadav wants MS Dhoni to play for the Indian cricket team
In an exclusive Live Instagram session with Sportskeeda yesterday, Kuldeep Yadav spoke about former Indian cricket team wicket-keeper MS Dhoni's absence from the national team, and how he has kept the cricketing fraternity guessing over his return.
Yadav added that he would love to have MS Dhoni back with the Indian cricket team, as it would make their lives easier on the cricket field. MS Dhoni was last seen playing for the Indian cricket team in the infamous loss to New Zealand in the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup 2019.
“I am of course missing MS Dhoni. Whenever you play with a senior player, you become fond of them and start missing them and their presence. As far as his retirement is concerned, it is MS Dhoni’s decision and it should be left to him. There is no point for us to debate on that. He is very fit and I personally feel he should play for India. As a fan, I absolutely love him. If he plays, it would be easier for us [India].”