The importance of the mental game in professional sports cannot be overstated, according to Faf du Plessis: Faf Du Plessis, a former captain of South Africa, has discussed the growing significance of mental health in today’s athletes. In order to get the most out of a player over the long term, the development of soft skills has been encouraged to be given as much priority as basic, hard abilities.
Throughout his time leading the national team and playing franchise cricket, Du Plessis has been a strong proponent of creating a positive team environment. The sporting environment is filled with intense competition, frequent setbacks, and a demanding schedule, making it simple for the mind to wander and veer off course.
In his autobiography, Faf Through Fire, Faf du Plessis stated how adverse situations have a profound impact on an athlete:
Professional sports require such a crucial component of the mental game, and when you have a string of bad events outside of cricket, they often creep into every fiber of your being without your conscious effort.
Many cricket players have recently spoken out about their struggles with mental health. Ben Stokes, the captain of England’s test team, and Meg Lanning, the Australian women’s cricketer, are two prominent cricketers who withdrew from competition to concentrate on their mental health.
I started to value spending time away from the game with people who genuinely enriched my life. (Faf du Plessis)
The Covid-19-induced Global Lockdown sparked the movement for better mental health. The athletes were forced to contend with a great deal of uncertainty over their position in the sport while confined to a small area.
Faf du Plessis wrote about his experiences during the shutdown in 2020, when he showed himself to be a person of even clarity:
I become more reclusive as my public presence increased and stopped being as extroverted because I didn’t want to deal with any more public chirps and criticism. I started to appreciate spending time away from the game with people who actually improved my life.
Although this group of friends was modest, they had a significant impact on my life, particularly during lockdown, he continued. They didn’t give a damn about who I was, and they never did anything for me in the expectation of getting a t-shirt or a cap signed in exchange. We had no foundations in our relationship other than the unwavering love and acceptance we shared, which is sometimes what drives individuals to approach me.
In order to support the players’ mental health despite the demanding cricket schedule, a few of teams have added a mental conditioning coach to their support staff.
Faf Through Fire, a memoir by Faf Du Plessis, was published on May 15 in India. It is offered on significant e-commerce platforms and in bookshops all around the nation.