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‘Making Tea, Ironing Clothes’, Tendulkar’s Fix Against Anxiety For 10-12 Years As A Cricketer

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The past couple of years have brought along a revolution within the players of the Indian cricket team and their candidness towards struggling with mental health issues.

On Sunday, India’s legendary Sachin Tendulkar opened up about his mental health struggles and how he suffered from severe anxiety for over a decade while playing as an international cricketer and representing his nation at some of the biggest stages.

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“Over 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 organised by Unacademy.

“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. Then I made peace with times I was not able to sleep in the night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable.” 

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 him prepare for the game.

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Sachin also spoke about how making cups of tea, and ironing clothes also helped him get over the feeling of uncertainty and get ready for the match.

"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, who retired after playing his 200th Test match in 2013.

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“When there is an injury, physios and doctors examine you and diagnose what is wrong with you. The 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,” he added.


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