Former India player Rahul Dravid has praised those players who have spoken about mental health openly. Mental health plays an important part in every sport and players do suffer as well but many of them are not comfortable speaking about this openly. However, recently a few came up and spoke about this which included veteran Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell who took a break from the game last year.
"Mental health has been an issue in sport and in cricket and it's been heartening to see the discussion around mental health over the past decade or so. It's good to see many players having the courage to talk about these issues," Dravid said while speaking in the first session of 'Mind, Body and Soul'. This is a platform that brought forward by The Royal Rajasthan Foundation, in association with NS Vahia Foundation & McLean Hospital (Harvard Medical School Affiliate).
He added that sport and cricket are tough since this is played a high-pressure environment and some of these players are constantly being in that high-pressure situation. However, he admitted that in the past, there was a problem talking about mental health and to admit it as a problem.
"In the olden days, maybe, people didn't know how to react to it but with players coming out now there is more positive discussion around mental health in sport especially cricket. I feel we must applaud all these modern-day players who've come out and talked about mental health openly and have brought about a positive discussion around the same," he shared.
Rahul Dravid gave the example of his life, saying he made his debut at 17. It was challenging for him too as he had played first-class cricket for five years and then made it to the Indian team. It was more challenging because back then cricket was a very risky profession. If someone doesn't succeed professionally or doesn't play for a long time for India, it wasn't easy way to make a living out of cricket. All it needed was to be successful to live a decent life.
However, he thinks the situation is much better now as there are professionals available whom the players can approach as well. Even sports psychologists play a key role too for the players be it on or off the field. He further added that the NCA has the facility for the players to connect with the sports psychologists, especially younger players.
"I think it's different from motivational talk to a team, if you really want a player to better deal with situations, you need to provide that access to them on individual basis where they can have a one-on-one basis discussion and get better guidance," he concluded.
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