I feel the pressure during first few deliveries: MS Dhoni
Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is renowned for handling his nerves well during crunch situations. However, the 38-year-old recently admitted that he feels the pressure while facing the first few deliveries. Offering support to MFORE (an initiative by former India player S Badrinath along with entrepreneur Saravana Kumar, which offers mind conditioning programs), Dhoni opened up on mental health. Here is more.
"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?" Dhoni said.
Dhoni asserted people in India need to have more acceptance when it comes to mental health. He believes any flaw related to mental health is deemed as mental illness. "In India, I feel there is still a big issue of accepting there is some weakness when it comes to the mental aspects, but we generally term it as mental illness," he said.
MFORE involves a group of 20-25 mental conditioning coaches and sports psychologists from across the world, with the aim of interacting with players. The subsequent programs allow athletes to do mental training.
The Indian legend believes relationship between a player and coach is of utmost importance in any sport. "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 the areas affecting his sport," he said.
Dhoni has been away from competitive cricket since India's semi-final exit from the 2019 World Cup. Having remained unavailable for several bilateral limited-overs assignments, he was recently snubbed from the list of centrally contracted players by the BCCI. He commenced training for his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings last month. However, his comeback hopes have been marred with IPL getting postponed due to COVID-19.