In this day and age, the word positive has to be used with caution. But in mental fitness terminology, being positive is the way forward. When it comes to the Indian Cricket team, one man who is always seen smiling is Shikhar Dhawan. Gabbar to many, this cricketer has a unique style that is so endearing, that one would love to let his vibe rub off on them.
One of the seniors now in the team, he behaves like a child, who does not let any outside influence affect his pure passion and love for the game. He’s not childish but is child-like. There is a big difference.
In recent times, when the rest of the fraternity talks about how tough it is to play in the biosecure bubbles, Shikhar chooses to look at the bright side. The fact that you can spend more time with your teammates and get to know them better. The ‘me time’ can be used for constructive things like fitness. He did just that, keeping himself busy with physical fitness and working on his mental strength. Yoga became his go-to tool for enhancing his physical and mental strength and overall discipline.
“My stamina, focus, and mobility have gotten better. I used to have a stiff body, my mobility has really gone to a level I like. Also, skills keep changing. Little things that you won’t notice like my stance has changed a little. Some of it is detailed stuff that of course I won’t like to tell.”
Recently, in the just concluded England v India One Day International series, captain Virat Kohli said that more than the runs Shikhar scores, it’s his presence that is more important. Whether he is in the playing eleven or not, he is always supportive and encouraging his team all the way.
“His body language was amazing when he wasn’t playing. He was motivating players, running with extra stuff like water. On some days he gets the runs he deserves and gets the desired result. Made a very important contribution.”
And Shikhar expressed, just how he dealt with the times when he is not part of the squad.
“When I wasn’t playing, I was thinking how I can give to the team. I was being a good 12th man, serving water. In my head, though, I was quite positive and preparing, working on my skills. That when I get an opportunity I can score runs. I was putting all my efforts into the process. Was doing good gym, running, net sessions whenever possible. Eventually, I know my hard work will pay off.”
Currently, the Indian team is in a very positively charged space. Sure it’s not like everyone has perfect relations with each other, but on the field, they all just follow one process. And that is to make sure they give their best to make India win. Captain Kohli is very clear that to be part of team India, you need to be at your best. Shikhar follows this template thoroughly.
“Fitness is very important in the team. Mental fitness is also given a lot of importance. It’s a great culture to have in the team. We are monitored on various levels and have to go through tests. We are shown the mirror on various fitness aspects.”
There is no denying, that Shikhar Dhawan is a character. One that you don’t sit and judge but instead you just let him flow and enjoy the entertainment that he offers. He has one mantra in his life and it’s not easy to pursue that. Being happy all the time is easier said than done, but it is a super way to be. To dance literally like no one is watching is what he does effortlessly.
“My mantra in life is to be happy and give my best. The right attitude for any sportsman is to give his 100 percent to the game. Whether you are practicing or playing a match, stay within the limits of the rules and play the best you can”