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Indian hockey team given encouragement by Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar with the Indian hockey team

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS): Ahead of the Indian hockey men's team's departure for the World Cup in The Hague, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar Tuesday gave a pep talk, and asked them not to take too much pressure in the tournament that will be played from May 31-June 15.

Tendulkar shared his experiences of his cricketing days and motivated the team to face the challenges of the upcoming tournament.

"Do not allow pressure to come to you, irrespective of how strong you feel the team is. Start each match with a positive attitude and do a thorough preparation on each team that you are meeting, understand their weaknesses and strengths, and accordingly prepare yourself," he told the players.

"You have to keep your mind positive all through as hockey is a fast game hence you have to keep yourself free of pressure. Always remember no team is stronger than you. Visualize this in your mind and you will realise that your body automatically starts responding positively," he added.

Tendulkar also told the team not to "take failure to heart as everyone fails".

"But with those failures and experiences you will learn and grow. We all are here because we have a passion for what we are following. Stick to that passion for all the times to come."

Tendulkar also recalled his international debut.

"My first match of my career was not that great as I could not score and because of which I had sleepless nights. I finally spoke to my seniors and they motivated me to not take pressure and be at ease and control of my game, which helped me score 58 in my next match. I still follow this and share the same with every youngster that I meet," he said.

India captain Sardar Singh said it was an honour for the team to get motivated by Tendulkar.

"I am feeling very positive. It's not only with me, I can see the same effect within the entire team as we feel a new force and excitement. I take this opportunity to thank him for speaking to us and instilling this self confidence of being as strong as our opponents," he said.

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