Indian Cricketers Urge For A Team Psychologist Again As Mental Health Continues To Be Ignored
The captain of the Indian Women's cricket team in the T20I format of the game, Harmanpreet Kaur has requested the BCCI for the appointment of a sports psychologist for the team who can travel with them for international series.
According to a New Indian Express report, Kaur said: “We have requested the BCCI for someone like a sports psychologist, who can travel with us. We have spoken to coach as well. Nowadays, the pressure is high. You need someone to discuss things when they are not fine.”
Referring to the emotional loss in the ICC 2017 Women's World Cup final at Lord's, the then head coach of the team, Tushar Arothe had spoken about the urgent requirement of a professional in the support staff who could understand the psyche of the players under pressure and help them make it through without taking too much damage mentally.
“We were in winning position but the players panicked and succumbed to the mental pressure in dying overs in World Cup finals. Having a professional who can help them build their mental strength will definitely help the team,” Arothe had said.
However, no action was taken by the Indian cricket board back then because clearly the importance of looking after an athlete's mental health has been ignored widely not only in India but worldwide as well.
Seeking advice from a sports psychologist and the @NZCPA helped @JimmyNeesh enjoy his cricket again and set a course for the @cricketworldcup. A timely reminder - it's always okay to talk. pic.twitter.com/pBscONrO7y— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) April 4, 2019
In fact, an official from the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has spoken about how Indian athletes have created a mental blockage within themselves that prevents them from excelling in major tournaments such as World Championships and the Olympics, just by overthinking about the history of Indian athletes who weren't successful in their time, when there was a lack of nutritious diet, improper infrastructure and no priority to sports.
“We believe that Indian athletes still do not have the confidence of winning an Olympic medal because it has been too long since we have won an Olympic medal (in athletics),” the official had said. “Athletes have this mental block that, “Qualify kar gae to theek hai, medal jeetna toh bohot badi baat hai.".
We talk about how mental health is a cornerstone to building a successful relationship, to maintain sanity in difficult times and to help people become the better version of themselves in the public, but talks about the mental health of the sportspeople continue to be ignored.
Cricket and depression – the dark alchemy http://t.co/pwQicPk8 In India depression is taboo, meeting a psychologist classifies u as mad.— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 15, 2012
Representing your country, a nation of 1.3 billion people comes with a lot of pressure and expectations. You not only have to fight the demons of your own mind but must create this strong mirage of yourself out in the public and in front of the media to show that you are strong and handle the pressure on your own.
However, the fact of the matter is that nobody should be putting so much burden on their minds. People, even the athletes, deserve the luxury to “leave work at the office” and come home with a peaceful head. Hence, the need for a sports psychologist is utmost at this point.