The Indian women’s cricket team has started their World Cup campaign on a positive note as they have won two out of the three matches played so far in the tournament. India beat Pakistan in their World Cup opener and after losing to New Zealand in the second match fought hard and bounced back to win the third match against West Indies. The players have performed well in all three matches and some of them have given the credit to Dr. Mugdha Bavare, who is team India’s sports psychologist. At present, Dr. Bavare is traveling with the team to New Zealand.
India’s vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who muscled a scintillating century in her last game against West Indies appreciated Dr. Bavare. Kaur shared that Dr. Bavare helped her a lot when she was going through a rough patch and not getting runs. After talking to Dr. Bavare, Kaur was able to clear all the clutter around her and could deliver her best. Apart from Kaur, Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar lauded Dr. Bavare for helping them to cope with pressure. India’s head coach Ramesh Powar also mentioned that Dr. Bavare played an integral role in helping the girls to handle pressure. Powar quoted the India-Pakistan match when India was struggling at 6-114 and the way Rana and Vastrakar bailed the team out.
Dr. Bavare said, “Mental training is an important aspect of the game. It is known that all the players tend to carry some kind of emotional baggage with them when they go out on the field. It is therefore essential to understand their emotional baggage and find ways to manage the same. As a sports psychologist, I try to understand each and every player individually to know what is going on in their minds. Once I identify their emotional baggage, which could be fear of failure, the pressure of expectations, need to perform consistently, etc. I develop techniques to help them handle their emotional baggage. Apart from this, I try to study their body language and make observations. Later I share my observations with them to make them better players. I employ fun drills when I am interacting with the players which keep everything nice and light. I focus on each and every players’ strengths rather than an attack on their weaknesses. So far, I have enjoyed being with the Indian team. The girls are open to discussions and there is a great atmosphere around the team.”
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