I had many sleepless nights before a game: Sachin Tendulkar opens up on anxiety issues he faced throughout his career

The 48-year-old also had an advice for youngsters facing mental health issues, especially in unprecedented times like these.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 16 May 2021 11:00 pm

Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has opened up on the anxiety issues he faced over the years throughout his illustrious career. The 48-year-old has been quite vocal about mental health since his retirement and often advice the youngsters to come out and share their personal experiences. Tendulkar had notably also helped Virat Kohli when the Indian skipper was struggling with the mental side of things in 2014. However, the 'God of Cricket' has now revealed his own experiences that he faced in his career.

Sachin reveals how he dealt with his anxiety issues

The Master-Blaster played 664 international matches for India during his 24-year long career at the top level. Being part of India's shambolic semi-final defeat in the 1996 World Cup, heartbreaking loss in the finals of the 2003 World Cup, embarrassing elimination from the 2007 World Cup to finally becoming the champions in 2011, Tendulkar was part of many high-voltage matches for the country. Reflecting on his experiences, the 48-year-old talked very honestly and openly about mental health during an interaction organized by Unacademy.

Tendulkar revealed that he realized over a period of time that one has to prepare himself mentally also besides preparing physically for a game. He added that the matches used to start long before he entered the ground because the anxiety levels were so high. The 48-year-old said, "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. I made peace with times I was not able to sleep in the night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable."

The former cricketer added that activities like making tea or ironing his clothes helped him 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 Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in 2013.

Acceptability is the key: Tendulkar

The 48-year-old also had a piece of advice for youngsters facing mental health issues, especially in unprecedented times like these. Tendulkar opined that mental health is just like an injury where physios and doctors examine you and diagnose what is wrong with you. He added that while it is normal for anyone to go through ups and downs, but 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, " said Tendulkar.

The honest advice from Sachin Tendulkar should certainly help the youngsters who are suffering from any anxiety or mental health issue to come out and address the problem. It is certainly a good and positive sign that the people are addressing the issue seriously and are breaking the myths and stereotypes around mental health in the country.

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