Teams should look at appointing ‘mind’ coach: Badrinath

Following the emergence of T20 leagues all over the world, franchises are making it a point to recruit solid backroom staff apart from having match-winning players. Some are even going to the extent of stacking half the team dugout with specialised coaches, mentors and other support crew members.


Hungry for trophies and titles, owners and management are trying to do everything possible to devise a success formula. But in an era where several cricketers are battling mental health issues, sides continue to overlook the significance of roping in a mind coach.

And, former India batsman Subramaniam Badrinath, who along with Saravana Kumar recently came up with non-profit organisation MFORE (a platform that provides mind-conditioning programmes to athletes), doesn’t understand why teams are reluctant to hire such coaches.

“I don’t know whether a national team or franchise will start the practice. But, in the future, there must be a mind coach for every side. These days, most teams are having separate coaches for batting, bowling and fielding. Ahead of all of them is the head coach. There is also a physical trainer and physiotherapist. Why not add a mind coach to the group?” asked Badrinath during an interaction with DT Next on the Zoom application.

“Cricket is 70-80% about mind; many players will tell you the same. However, teams aren’t making efforts to appoint a mind coach. The main objective of our platform – MFORE – is to create awareness about mental health and stress on the importance of having a mental conditioning coach,” added Badrinath, who has represented Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The player-turned-commentator said that sportspersons and teams can overcome obstacles only while having the right frame of mind. The former Tamil Nadu captain cited the underwhelming show of the South Africa cricket team in global tournaments like the World Cup and Champions Trophy.

“SA isn’t able to go all the way only because of lack of belief. It is an extraordinary team and has the ability to win WCs. SA has got great players, but tends to underperform in big matches. It is all about peaking at crucial moments and a lot of that depends on your mind. There are certain techniques that will enhance your performances.”

The 39-year-old Badrinath, host of ‘Mind Masters by MFORE’ on Star Sports 1 Tamil, has been interacting with famed athletes. The final episode of the series, featuring special guests Muttiah Muralitharan, Russel Arnold (both from Sri Lanka) and Laxmipathy Balaji, will be aired at 7pm on Sunday on the above-mentioned channel.

While revisiting his CSK days with the legendary Muralitharan, Badrinath said: “T20 in 2008 was an unchartered territory for many of us. Despite being one of the greatest bowlers, he had the hunger to do well. At that time, I hadn’t even played international cricket. But, he came up to me and asked for suggestions. He has achieved a lot but always stays simple and down-to-earth.”

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