Mental Adjustment; key to success in competitive sports. But what is mental adjustment? Keys aspects, challenges and solution

Shivani Gupta: While Indian cricket fans were already high with Suryakumar Yadav’s distinctive batting style in the 2nd T20I against New Zealand on November 21, Tamil Nadu batter N Jagdeeshan took centre stage a day after, by smashing a record-shattering highest-ever score (277 off 144) in List-A cricket.

Testimony of his immense potential and talent is that his 277-run knock came on the back of four consecutive centuries – now he has five centuries on the trot. Suryakumar Yadav smashed his second T20I century in the calendar a day earlier.

Both the Indian cricketers have faced the best of the bowlers at their level, but their ability to shift gears and adapt to the situation has set them apart. Key to their success has been their expertise in the ability to understand their mental capbilities. Lets delve deep into the subject and try to understand the idea of ajusting mind in a way that we are able to achieve our goals, despite facing tough challenges.

What is a mental adjustment?

Mr. Badri Narayanan, a renowned sports psychologist, who had worked with Shikhar Dhawan, Unmukt Chand and others, told The Quotes that mental training or Adjustment is essential in achieving goals.

If you want to be the best T20/ODI batter or bowler, once the goal is etched in your mind and heart, just repeating it will not bring that result to your doorstep. Mental Adjustment means changing how you think, speak, act and do things. This needs to be done off-field and in the nets repeatedly till it becomes second nature,” Mr Narayanan said.

He further informed us that one needs to study the body language of top-notch elite players, including their posture and preparation. At the same time, what they do in between deliveries, how they talk to themselves and their batting partner etc.

Mental adjustments must have clarity and align with their end goals. When body and mind are in sync with the goals, success is an understatement,” he added.

Men’s Adjustment of athletes:

Mr. Narayanan claims there are many studies and research done on elite athletes’ mindsets. “They do the same things but differently, with relentless intent and absolute belief that they will accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, there is no backup and no going back on their goals,” he adds.

To address mental challenges:

Foremost, one must acknowledge and accept that a mental issue needs to be addressed. “For instance, Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes: Accepted that they needed to take a step back and gave their mind sufficient rest to take corrective measures. Look at how they bounced back, and the rest is history,” Mr. Narayanan explains.

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To achieve mental ability:

Acknowledgement, acceptance, keeping the internal and external noise out, meditation and mental rest are crucial. One can include simple exercises – meditation, Mindfulness exercises, Taichi/Yoga, journal writing, visualization – in his daily routine to enhance their mental abilities,” concluded Mr. Narayanan.

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