Sachin Tendulkar opens up on mental health, says ‘battled anxiety for 10-12 years of my career’


Mumbai: Former Indian  batting legend Sachin Tendulkar asserted that he battled anxiety for a long time during his 24 year long marvelous cricket career. He also said instead of getting upset with it, there is a need to find a solution. There is such problem in everyone’s life but acceptance is the key.

Talking about mental health, which has gained huge significance in the COVID times with players spending a lot of time in bio-bubbles and fear caused by the surge. Tendulkar said acceptability is the key. Not only players but millions of people have experienced a mental health problem or seen someone struggling in these tough times. May 10-16 is being observed as the Mental Health Awareness Week this year. Not just adults but even children are facing troubles. A recent study has revealed that there has been an increase of over 50% in this pandemic.

“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 said in an interaction show organised by Unacademy.

“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.”

He also reckoned he used to do something or the other to divert and keep his mind comfortable. That something included watching TV, making tea or playing video games in the wee hours of the day.  “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,” said the 48-year-old former batsman.

The master blaster also opined that the players has to face difficult times, but it is important that he accepts the bad times. “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.”

Citing a example of a hotel staff in Chennai, he emphasised that one can learn from anyone, like he did from a 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.”


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