Youth Inc presents to you 30 life mantras from the celebrated cricketer’s life. One for each year he’s been around! Some of it he grew up with, some he learnt from the game, and some from bitter life experiences. Most importantly, he believes in and lives by each one of them. Happy Birthday, MS!
1. Team victories more important than personal achievements
“Ranking does not matter. The team is more important. As long as my contributions lead to the team’s victories, it is more important than the top ranking.”
2. Work cohesively
Dhoni does not differentiate between players within the team. Instead, becomes the binding factor, a quality that differentiates him from the rest.
3. Don’t let huge expectations weigh you down
“We should know what we are capable of and what we should do to get the desired results.”
4. Strike the correct attitude
“In the batting power play, it’s important that you don’t play for the crowd, but for your country.”
5. Back your instincts
When asked about his leadership qualities on being captain, Dhoni says, “I am not really a born leader. In fact, I haven’t led any side before I became the Indian captain. But I always back my instincts.”
6. Reality over dreams
“I don’t dream much. I live in reality. I plan for the future and I believe in taking one step at a time. But, I give more than hundred per cent not just in matches but also in practice sessions.”
8. Calm and determined
Let’s admit, it did take a level-headed and determined captain to sail India into victory in the ICC World Cup. Dhoni’s impact on the tournament was huge, influencing every aspect of the competition.
9. Know your boundaries
Sanjay Manjrekar said that when he asked a great Indian batsman about Dhoni, he replied that Dhoni knows his boundaries. Captaincy, besides other things, is about straight talk and issuing timely warnings to players. Dhoni does it very well, and keeps it together, because of this inherent quality.
10. Guzzle pressure
He just magically absorbs the pressure during high power matches, willing to face it head on, so his team didn’t have to bear too much. One can only think of his famous comment, “Pressure lena nahin hai, dena hai!”
11. Maintain balance
It is a wonder that he manages to maintain the delicate balance between wicket keeping and captaincy, besides being an excellent batsman.
Even after all the success, Dhoni remains a Ranchi boy at heart, going home at least once every couple of months. This firm grounding comes from his parents, who haven’t changed their lifestyle after their son’s stupendous success, save the large TV that adorns their home to enjoy their son’s play.
13. Courage of convictions
“If you act your best on that particular day (of the match) then you can beat any side. Maybe even the strongest side in the world.”
14. It’s all about ‘that’ one day
“Every side has a good chance in any match, especially in the 20-20 format. It’s just about that particular day and the player that has his brilliant day, bowler or batsman.
His optimistic attitude and enthusiasm are evident. He believes in beginning every match with positivity and injects that into the team members as well.
16. Believe in self
Dhoni confesses it was a difficult target in the World Cup final and he wasn’t sure of the win. The only thing that kept him going was his belief in the team “We knew we have the firepower to win.”
17. Level headed
Dhoni believes any team playing better and well focused can beat an award striking team. He believes it is important to be grounded.
18. Pointed focused
Dhoni believes being focussed is the secret to success. By a win in the past it is no assurance of winning the next match as well, coupled with, “I have done it once, I can do it once again.”
19. Freedom to others
Dhoni has always allowed his team mates to be themselves. “There’s no need to educate the players, you just have to let them play their natural game. That is how they (the younger ones) start learning.”
20. Reality check
Everyone desires a victory but if it’s seen that it’s not your day, it’s good to try and not give up but not raise your expectations to unachievable targets.
21. Take risks
Dilip Vengsarkar says, “Dhoni has all the qualities of a captain, he is calm under pressure, he backs his decisions, and he is not afraid to take risks.”
22. Strategise well
“When you try to hit those big shots, you tend to forget that you are playing for the country and not for the crowd. While trying to get those 20 extra runs, you may end up scoring 40 runs less.”
23. Go by your own expectations
… is Dhoni’s strong belief, which he approaches every match with. Of course you have to perform well and give your hundred per cent!
24. Learn from mistakes
“To progress, learning from mistakes would be the best way to learn effectively, especially if the mistakes are something that have haunted you”
25. Diffuse tension
Despite every series having its own set of pressures, whether of winning or playing against a strong team, the players should get used to it and learn to diffuse it.
26. Success at its place
Dhoni believes that he is into so much fame because of his excellence in his work. He believes if he doesn’t perform, this will automatically stop and he cannot allow himself to be distracted.
27. Be inspired by targets
Working desperately to achieve your targets is one attitude that can keep you going to reach it. Try for the maximum, that’s important.
28. Honest to work
Being honest to your game or your work is most important. If you have lost the game, it is important not lay situational blame or blindly accept defeat, instead analyse and learn.
29. Technically sound
Apart from strategies, technical aspects such as the frame of the pitch, the batsmen ranking, mindset of the bowlers, strengths and weaknesses while chasing, and so on are essential.
30. Opponents are equal
Do not underestimate your opponents, focus how your team is progressing, but don’t constantly be bothered by what the opponents are doing.
If you couldn’t become the sportsperson you thought you wanted to, there are more options.
Volume 1 Issue 1