‘Even in a room full of people, I felt alone’: Virat Kohli on the importance of mental health for athletes

Kohli is enduring an extended lean patch with the bat lately.

Virat Kohli | GettyHe might be one of the best batters of the modern era, but Virat Kohli has dealt with mental health issues in the past and courageously opened up on the same as well.

The former India skipper on Wednesday (August 17) once again touched on the topic, highlighting the importance of focusing on mental health, especially for young athletes who remain under the spotlight all the time.

"For an athlete, the sport can bring the best out of you as a player but at the same time, the amount of pressure that you are constantly under, can affect your mental health negatively. It is definitely a serious issue and as much as we try to be strong at all times, it can tear you apart," Kohli told The Indian Express.

Offering tips to the young athletes, the veteran batter further said: "My tips to aspiring athletes would be that yes, physical fitness and focus on recovery are the key to being a good athlete, but at the same time, it is crucial to consistently keep in touch with your inner self.”

There was a time when Virat Kohli used to hog headlines every other day for his record-breaking exploits with the bat. However, the veteran batter has lately become the talk of the town for his extended lean patch.

The owner of 70 international centuries, Kohli hasn’t hit a ton since November 2019 and his place in the team was also questioned by legends like Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag last month.

"I personally have experienced times when even in a room full of people who support and love me, I felt alone, and I am sure that this is a feeling that a lot of people can relate to. So, take out time for yourself and reconnect with your core self. If you lose that connection, it wouldn’t take very long for other things to crumble around you,” Virat further said while speaking on the subject of mental health.

"You need to learn how to compartmentalise your time so that there’s balance. It takes practice like anything else in life, but it’s something worth investing in, that’s the only way to feel a sense of sanity and enjoyment while doing your work," he added.

The 33-year-old was last seen in action during the England tour in July. He was rested for the West Indies white-ball tour and will return to action in the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, slated to get underway on August 27.

Kohli said spending time with family and travelling has helped him unwind after a hectic season.

"The one thing that truly helps me unwind after a hectic season is spending time with my family. Apart from that, I love to spend time pursuing my hobbies. Travel is something that helps me de-stress a lot, and of course coffee; I believe that I am a coffee connoisseur and absolutely love trying out different flavours and coffee spots around the world," Kohli said.

(The Indian Express inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 17 Aug, 2022

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