‘Sportsmen, entrepreneurs, employees - everyone goes through ups and downs - the idea is how to remain stable’: Rohit Sharma, VC, Indian Cricket Team
In a conversation with YSWeekender, Rohit Sharma, Vice-Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, spoke to me about the importance of keeping calm and learning the art of meditation, at Kanha, the Heartfulness Centre in Hyderabad along with his wife Ritika Sajdeh
As the Vice-Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Rohit Sharma, is no stranger to ‘ups and downs’ and especially when it is a sport like cricket in India. Rohit’s feat on the field is legendary. He is the only cricketer in the history of cricket to score more than one One-Day-International (ODI) double century.
He also is the only batsman to date to score three ODI, double 100s.
“The need to be mentally stable and keep your calm is important, especially in cricket. In a game like cricket, one gets to see the highest of highs and lowest of lows. And since we are always in public eye and in order to be at your best and focus on the game, you need to be able to take these in your stride. Whether ups or downs, you need to be equanimous in both aspects,” explains Rohit.
In the 1000-acre property of the Heartfulness Meditation Centre, Rohit spent the day with school students, inaugurated a cricket ground, and meditating. He just spent meditating at the ashram and has a rather quiet demeanour.
Wearing track pants and a white hat, Rohit is geared to take on the day. He has been a part of a blindfolded brunch session, spoken to school kids, walked around the 1000-acre campus. And while our meeting is in the evening, Rohit is still agile and willing to have a free-flowing conversation, just before he takes his flight out.
Looking at his laser focus on the game and how he brings in a certain aggression, it is hard to believe the quiet composed self that Rohit displays. Nevertheless, Rohit is now focussed on centering himself and bringing the much-needed calm as well.
The 32-year old cricketer began his cricketing journey in November 2003, where he made his debut in Test Cricket. In 2015, he made his first appearance in the Cricket World Cup.
Take things in your stride
Hailing from Mumbai, Maharashtra, Rohit is also the captain of the IPL team Mumbai Indians. His mother Purnima Sharma, is from Vishakapatnam, and father Gurunath Sharma has worked as a caretaker of a storehouse of a transport firm.
“I try and meditate as much as I can, even during a game. It helps me cut the noise out. When we first started there was little understanding of why focus is needed and how it helps in focus,” explains Rohit. The cricketer also sees little difference between sportspeople and entrepreneurs, he says,
“There is nothing more important than taking things in your stride, for both entrepreneurs and sports people. The amount of pressure we face on a day-to-day basis is intense. And it is easy to succumb to that pressure. The failures can be brutal and the highs can take you to another level. But then that isn’t the end goal or objective. You need to play for the game and the country.”
Apart from cricket, Rohit is also a supporter of animal welfare campaigns and is the official Rhino Ambassador for WWF-India. Rohit is also a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Bringing in sharp focus
“What we need is focus, and meditation helps me bring that. You do not need long. It just takes a few minutes, even on the field. It is something that has immensely helped me in my career and way ahead. It is something I would advise even young cricketers and sports players to take up as well," says Rohit.
He goes on to say,
"Along with your physical well-being, mental, and emotional well-being, meditation also plays a super important role in the sport. And I feel that is needed. When we were younger, we didn’t have much understanding of this. But as you start playing more seriously, and get in deeper, you realise the pressures are high. With all the noise around, there are times when you can lose focus. In those times centering yourself helps a lot."
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