Sachin Tendulkar's pre-game routine - making tea, ironing clothes

Updated on May 17, 2021 04:57 PM IST

The batting legend advises aspiring players how to prepare physically and mentally before every game to get the best out of themselves.

Sachin Tendulkar spoke on a range on topic during a session on Unacademy. (Getty Images) PREMIUM
Sachin Tendulkar spoke on a range on topic during a session on Unacademy. (Getty Images)
By, Mumbai

Batting prodigy, great technique, timing a cricket ball as sweetly as anyone and steely determination - Sachin Tendulkar had all this even when he burst on the international scene. His heart still pumped hard before every game and anxiety didn’t allow him to sleep the night before.

The butterflies weren’t there only when he began his India career as a 16-year-old, against Pakistan in 1989. It lasted a good 10-12 years, almost till halfway through his grand career.

So, how did the man who ended up with pretty much every batting record deal with it?

“Anxiety levels were really high but over a period I learned to accept those things. I told myself, “If you are not able to sleep it’s okay, you can watch TV, play games on phone”, just to keep my mind in that space where I was comfortable,” Tendulkar said in a webcast organised by Unacademy on Sunday.

“Over time, I realised that along with preparing yourself physically, you need to prepare mentally. A day before the match my mind was engrossed in “how will the ball come to me, how do I face a particular delivery and imagining the field placing”. My match had already started, way before we went on to the ground.”

Tendulkar spoke on resilience, preparation, flexibility, adaptability and how he stayed motivated to play 24 years for India. He developed habits like packing his kit the day before the match, making his tea on the morning of the match and ironing his clothes. It was part of a process that kept him in the zone.

His advise to aspiring players? “There’s no formula. Do whatever helps you prepare for the next day and bring the best out of you.”

Tendulkar braved a series of wear and tear injuries that blighted the second half of his career. The most severe was the tennis elbow in the early 2000s. But his resilience and passion for the game helped get back to his best.

“(After the surgery) I had two options - sit at home or go out, innovate and practice. I couldn’t hold a cricket bat but I used to put my full gear on, set the bowling machine around off-stump and train my eye and brain to react to that speed and stay in touch.

“From cold storage you can’t get out and play (straightaway) so I was just watching the ball and imagining playing the shot; my lower body was moving, eyes sending message to brain and the body was responding,” said the 48-year-old.

Tendulkar played some practice games in England to prepare for his comeback, but after a few matches realised that the child in him was “not alive”. “I needed to revive that, I cannot let it die. Whatever stage of my career, that child has to be alive - brain had taken over, so I wanted heart to take over. The foundation is to keep that child alive and I realised that playing those practice matches really helped me. My advice will be to be passionate (whatever profession one chooses) and let your heart lead the way, the brain will guide you.”

Tendulkar, who recovered from Covid last month, urged everyone to follow the health protocols. “It’s a difficult time for all of us. All I can say is from my personal experience, however much I thank the doctors, nurses and the medical fraternity will be less. They have stayed committed to saving lives for over a year now; nobody has complained.

“It’s a challenging time for all of us but we have to stay positive, help each other. My message to everyone is try and stay indoors as much as possible. Just follow the new normal, washing your hands, making sure you maintain certain level of hygiene and maintaining social distancing. All these are critical - it’s about to be able to help each other.”

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