RCB mentor Sania Mirza wants to help youngsters understand mental side of elite sport
Sania Mirza, mentor for RCB for the Women's Premier League, starting today, said that her role would be to help RCB in its journey towards a maiden WPL title.
Tennis legend Sania Mirza doesn't know much about cricket but as an elite athlete for the last two decades, she feels she can help Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) women cricketers deal with the mental aspect of things in the inaugural Women's Premier League.
Mirza has been roped in as a mentor by RCB for the WPL, starting on Saturday with the opener between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians.
RCB, led by India opener Smriti Mandhana, will open their campaign against Delhi Capitals on Sunday.
"I know nothing about cricket. I thought (when I was made mentor) what I am going to do, what am I going to talk to the girls. I recently retired, last week actually. So I was thinking what's my next step in life? So my next step was to try and help women athletes around and in India," Mirza was seen speaking to the RCB contingent, a video of which has been posted on the franchise's official Twitter handle.
Asked by a player how hard it was for her to retire, Mirza said: "I was actually ready. I have a son who is 4 and, honestly, the last one year has been a struggle. I had three surgeries. I just thought it was good to go out on top. I just wanted to stop."
Mirza said as a mentor, her role will be to help RCB in its journey towards the maiden WPL title.
"I was in an individual sport, so photo shoot, media attention, everything I handled on my own, so I thought, ok, I can actually give something to the girls," she said.
"It's normal to feel the pressure but you just have to know how to deal with it, block the noise a little bit, and Indian media is tough."
Stating that struggle is part and parcel of every sportsperson's life, Mirza reminded the RCB players of their goals behind taking up the sport of cricket.
"There is a struggle in everything. We didn't use to get courts, we used cow-dung-based courts. We didn't have coaches. The coaches who were there were not experts. Then there is the normal struggle of girls," she said.
Mirza said champions are the ones who win even when situations are adverse.
"Our job as an athlete is to inspire the next generation. You are only as good as how you perform on that day. The champions are the ones who are not winning all the time, the champions are the ones who are winning when they are not playing well.
"You have to remember why you started playing cricket because you love the game," Mirza said.
Edited by Suman Singh