Sachin Tendulkar told us to remain cool and calm in big tournaments: Indian hockey captain Rani

After the heady days of 2002 Commonwealth Games gold which inspired the movie Chak De India!, Indian women’s hockey team slipped out of the public view. But a quiet revival has been underway since 2016. The lady at the helm, Rani, believes even better days await her side.

The 24-year old, who made her debut at the precocious age of 14, has a side throbbing with young talent and bustling with youthful energy. In an exclusive conversation with  International Business Times, India, She said –  She has got some valuable inputs from a man who knows all about reaching the apex of sporting success – Sachin Tendulkar.

You met Sachin Tendulkar some time ago. There is one great similarity between you two. While he made his debut at 16 years of age, you did so at 14. So, what was the conversation like? Was it mainly about sports?

Rani: Yes, it was mainly about sports. I and one colleague of mine had gone to meet him. He talked to us in a very motivating way. He told us about his career and how he dealt with various things related to a team sports.

He also told us how he handled criticism when people would say uncharitable things about him. Also, when we are playing well, how to act as a team? We learned a lot of things. He was such a good player of his time.

Sachin played in 6 World Cups including two World Cup finals. You have and will play more World Cups. So, did he give you some advice on how to deal with the challenge of playing in big tournaments?

Rani: Yes he told us that when we do well, people’s expectations from us also become greater. But we should try to do what is our best. If we think too much about what people think, we would be putting more pressure on ourselves.

We would start thinking “What will people say? Will we be able to perform?” That pressure is always there but we have to remain cool and calm and focus only on our performance. This attitude, ultimately, reduces the pressure. If we pay too much attention to other things, the focus on our performance gets reduced. Then, people start saying all those things that they shouldn’t.

So, that’s what he told us, that in big tournaments, we should remain cool and calm. Because very few players get the chance to represent their country. If we have got that opportunity, we should play while remaining cool, focus only on our performance and the training that we have done.

Courtesy : IBT

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