The current coach of Rajasthan Royals, Paddy Upton in his just-released book, the Barefoot coach spoke about the mental conditioning of sportsmen. He further spoke on former India batsman and KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir and said he was one of the most negative people he has ever worked with. He said that the former KKR skipper was always surrounded by insecurities, doubts and vulnerabilities.
Gautam Gambhir said that he enjoyed every session with former Indian conditioning coach. However, he felt that Upton could have highlighted other facets of his game as well. Gambhir stated that there shouldn’t be a problem with players who want to always raise the bar.
“I don’t see anything sinister with what Paddy wrote. He is a top guy and I see this as his personal opinion. He just missed two important things: firstly, he didn’t state all the other facts and secondly, he failed to explain the perspective. Anyone would like to have a guy who is not satisfied with his current achievements. So, in short, I wasn’t satisfied with a 100 and wanted to have more,” he said.
When asked whether Paddy Upton could have highlighted the achievements of Gambhir rather than pointing out his flaws. Gambir was instrumental in helping India win the 2007 World Twenty 20 and the 2011 World Cup.
“Well, if Paddy chose to ignore my services for the country, I can’t comment on that. This is a question for him and not me. But I am not hurt, the facts are there for everyone to see and judge.” Gautam Gambhir further added that it is important for an international sportsman to not get satisfied and strive for more.
“That is what a performing art like sport is all about. You want to strive for higher achievements. I think the late Sir Don Bradman would have liked to finish with an average of 100 plus, Sachin Tendulkar would have liked to win at least one more World Cup etc. I am certain my dear friend Paddy won’t have termed these desires as “negative” or “weak”. To aspire to excel is the very basis of playing the sport for me and thank Heavens it never changed for me,” Gautam Gambhir stated.
In his book, Upton wrote: “I did some of my best and least effective mental conditioning work with Gambhir, the International Test Cricketer of the Year in 2009. I worked with him up until that time, but I had little to do with him being named the world’s best cricketer.
“Often, when I got onto the Indian team bus, Gautam would invite me to sit next to him. What followed was predictable: ‘Paddy, man, I know I just scored 100, but I should have got 200. I mishit too many balls, I struggled in the beginning, I hit the fielder too many times … It just wasn’t good enough. I need to sort things out.’ He would be in mental agony about losing his wicket and about needing to fix things. He was so riddled with insecurities, doubts and vulnerabilities. He was one of the most negative people I have ever worked with.”
Originally Published by sportzwiki.com