Former India batsman Subramaniam Badrinath said the coronavirus-forced lockdown is a big challenge for sportspersons, including cricketers, but it also offers a chance to reassess goals and invest on their physical and mental well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far infected over 41 lakh people and caused close to 3 lakh deaths worldwide, led to the suspension of all sporting activities across the globe.
"It is a challenging time for all sportspersons ... they were supposed to be playing, they would have set goals. It is a good time to reassess goals and look ahead," Badrinath, who recently launched MFORE -- a non-profit initiative offering mind skill training, told PTI.
The 39-year-old, who played two Tests and seven ODIs, said the break can also help sportspersons to get rid of niggles and work on their body and mind.
"Many of them (sportspersons) will have small pain in their body while playing and now it is good time to repair the body and get rid of all those pains so that when given a task you can feel fresh physically," he said.
"It is a good time to invest in your body, to invest in your emotional health, to invest in your mental health and all these things..." he added.
Badrinath said cricketers can improve themselves with the help of visualisation during this break.
"A batsman can do a lot of visualisation, through research we have found that exactly the same muscles get activated when you are doing actual practice. Visualisation can be a great help," he said.
Asked what made him come up with MFORE, Badrinath said: "In India we have a feeling, that athletes and everybody are doing a lot to get fitter ... cricketers are improving batting, bowling, fielding skills ... but are they doing enough for the mind, which is a powerful organ in your body, which is actually the bridge between ability and performance of a sportsman?"
"We felt enough importance is not given and enough training is not given to the mind, so we wanted to create a structure, platform that intensive training can be imparted to sportsmen, that their true ability can be turned into performance," he added.