Bengaluru, May 2: India's former mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton who made a significant contribution to the Men in Blue's second world title win in 2011 recently published his new book 'The Barefoot Coach'.
In the book, the 50-year-old South African Upton has come up with a revelation that the Indian cricket fans have found interesting. Upton has said that in the team that he had handled after getting the job in 2008, opener Gautam Gambhir was the most insecure in mental terms but yet went on to become one of the side's most successful batsman. Gambhir, who retired from cricket last December, played for India between 2004 and 2016 and scored over 10,000 runs and 20 hundreds.
The 37-year-old Gambhir, who is known for his vocal opinions on issues pertaining to sports, politics or society as a whole, did not find anything wrong in Upton's revelations. He said the former India coach did not have an evil intention and praised him for well-documenting the insecurities that the former batsman had.
The issue is interesting for mental character plays a big part in sports and it remains a matter of curiosity as to how achievers channelise their mental energy in dealing with challengers. Gambhir was one sportsperson known for his serious countenance on the ground and even the co-owner of his former IPL franchise Shah Rukh Khan had suggested him to smile more. But did his unwillingness to smile more on the job mean that he was more under pressure to perform?
It is unlikely that Gambhir had succumbed under pressure. He did something that even the great Sachin Tendulkar didn't: play vital knocks in the finals of not one but two world championships (T20I in 2007 and 50 overs in 2011) which means that the nervous energy had failed to beat him. Gambhir had also once played a marathon match-saving Test innings of 137 off 436 balls in Napier in 2009 to save the game for his team. He was adjudged the 'International Test Cricketer of the Year' that year.
Gambhir was a batsman who did not collapse under pressure but he had the habit of craving for more and that disappointed him when he didn't. For the rest of the world, this might seem that the person is never content with his achievements but for Gambhir, it was a sign that he is always striving for the best and hence there is no scope for feeling satisfied. For people like Tendulkars and Rahul Dravids, the feeling might have been the same but they were less expressive than Gambhir who let it out and came under the scanner more.
The hunger for greater success isn't a bad thing to possess. However, it is also important to pat yourself on the back when you have accomplished a decent feat. You can always try to make it better the next time but not relishing the fact that you have already done well could see you failing the scope of self-appreciation every time. For an individual's progress in life, it might not be always productive.