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there are more youngsters from small towns dreaming of and aspiring for great things in different w

Time:2019-07-26 22:54Shoes websites Click:

Dravid Rahul

By Express News Service

Today, there are more youngsters from small towns dreaming of and aspiring for great things in different walks of life. To me, this was a journey flagged off by the Dhyan Chands and the many other hockey players who gave us a sporting heritage to be proud of, kept alive by our Kapil Devs and their outrageous aspirations, and brought to their full potential by the likes of M.S. Dhoni.

I must also narrate the story from my days of playing U-19 cricket for India. I love sharing this one. We had two bowlers in the U-19 India team. One, a fast bowler from Uttar Pradesh—he spoke only Hindi. The other bowler—a spinner from Kerala—spoke only Malayalam.

 there are more youngsters from small towns dreaming of and aspiring for great things in different walks of life. To me

Rahul Dravid

Neither of them knew any other language. This was all right while they were bowling—as captain, I used a lot of head-nodding, sign language and my limited Hindi to set their fields. But I will never forget the one game when they happened to come together at the crease while we were batting. In the dressing room, we were in splits, wondering how they were going to manage the business of partnership, calling for runs or sharing the strike.

Neither man could understand a word of what the other was saying, and yet, they batted and batted, and put on a 100-run partnership for the last wicket. All the opposition sledging went over their heads and they just had a good time speaking the common language of sport, partnership and the aspiration to do well together.

Isn’t it amazing that sport can have such an impact on our nation and its people? When we see sporting magic happen, it is exhilarating and inspiring, and it must motivate us to use the full potential of sport in our nation-building exercise.

Around 2008, I was in the middle of a lean patch. The runs had dried up and I was on the wrong side of thirty—not ideal territory in Indian cricket. I needed to pick myself up. I wanted to. I knew I had at least another couple of years of cricket left in me. Around this time, I watched with glee as Abhinav Bindra shot his way to an Olympic gold in Beijing. I still remember the adrenaline rush that I felt at the time. Watching the Indian flag go up and listening to the national anthem moved me. 
Reading Abhinav’s autobiography was fascinating for me.

I think his story must be read by anyone on the quest for excellence. His obsession with perfection stood out. He  did absolutely everything in his power to seek perfection.
No compromises, no shortcuts! He had a good team around him who could match his obsession. They made sure everything was perfect, even small things, such as shaving a millimetre off the sole of one of his shoes to achieve the right stance. It had to be perfect, and it was!

Abhinav could have easily sat back and enjoyed being good at his sport, but he was able to push himself to be great. He found and took all the support he could get to learn about his art and give it his best shot. Abhinav’s achievement emboldened me to give my own career that last push, to dig deep again and do whatever it took, as difficult as it might seem. 

His ‘no shortcuts, no excuses’ approach is something we can all aspire for, in whatever tasks, big or small, that we undertake. The patchwork solutions, the temporary fixes, the cutting corners, the jugaad we are so proud of in our work and our relationships may well get the job done, but does this approach truly make us feel alive, or, for that matter, allow us to live to our full potential and push the boundaries of our capabilities?

Excerpted from Connecting the Dots in India’s Sporting Legacy by Rahul Dravid, from go! India's Sporting Transformation, edited by Nandan Kamath and Aparna Ravichandran, with permission from Penguin Random House India

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