India batting legend ‘ The Wall” Rahul Dravid reckons there could be “a sense of doubt, hesitancy and fear” initially in the minds of athletes as well as people in general when sport resumes in the post COVID-19 pandemic world.
He was speaking alongside Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra and badminton legend Prakash Padukone during the show ”Staying Ahead of the Curve – The Power of Trust” on Facebook Live.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has led to either cancellation or postponement of all sporting activities worldwide, including the Tokyo Olympics.
“For a short period there may be a sense of doubt or fear about certain things, I am sure there will be a certain hesitancy when we get back in, also there will be certain hesitancy in terms of people,” Dravid said in report by a news agency.
One of the game’s most technically sound batsmen, Dravid added, “Personally, I don’t see that (break in sporting events due to pandemic) as a huge problem. I don’t think that once elite sportspersons get on the field, get to do what they really love, they will have a problem.”
“One of the challenges for a lot of sportspersons will be to trust their bodies after two or three months of not playing sports or movements that are associated with sports.”
Dravid said sportspersons should be given enough time to regain peak fitness before they are asked to compete in top events.
“(Regaining) match fitness, game fitness, I think that will take a little bit of time before people can confidently trust themselves and go all out.
“… and that needs to be factored in, to give athletes enough time to be able to regain match fitness.”
The unexpected break in competitions could help extend the careers of a few sportspersons, according to Dravid.
“I have been telling a lot of the cricketers to see it as an opportunity to rest the body, rest the mind, you will never get that opportunity, never get that chance,” he said.
“Think about it, if you use this two months well, three months well, you could elongate your career by two or three years at the back end which you might not have if you didn’t have this kind of break.”
He said the players will not forget their skills by the time sporting activities resume.
“Will people lose out on skills because of lack of sports? I don’t think so, I can say this about cricket.
“Cricket has mainly been a seasonal sport in the past. You are going to be rusty but I don’t think you will forget your game. It shouldn’t take you too long to get back if you have utilised the time well.”
In collaboration, the cricket legend and the badminton great run Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence which aims to develop Indian athletes into world-class performers.
Dravid said sportspersons will quickly get their mojo back as they are used to facing challenging situations during their careers.
“I guess it sort of surprises you, but I think in a sporting career, you kind of get used to facing situations that surprise you or don’t go your way, lot of disappointments,” the batting legend said.
“So you kind of tend to, in a sense have an ability to try and make the best of what you have got and try and make the best of what you have.
“But outside of sport, in what I am doing now, fighting ways to make the best of the situation like this, it has obviously not been easy.”