Real flint, this man!

Virat Kohli has channelled his anger and aggression to build his physical and mental strength and this has taken him to being No. 1

Challenges? Let them come in droves, Virat Kohli seems to say. He is prepared for any contingency.   -  AFP

While Virat Kohli has been looked upon as an angry young man by and large, many have also looked up to him as an inspiration. This is an exemplary example of how a weakness can also become a strength. Being at the top, being the numero uno, in today’s competitive world is a herculean task. It takes physical and mental strength to get there. I would say Kohli has channelised his emotion of anger and aggression into that and this has taken him to being number one.

The mental aspect of Kohli in a few points…

“If you’re going to be a winner in life, you have to constantly go beyond your best” — Robert Kiyosaki. During his younger days, Kohli was known for his positive attitude and perseverance. He kept trying and was ready to try consistently to deliver results.

After his father’s death in 2006, he continued playing a Ranji match and then attended the funeral. This could have been comprehended in various ways by various people. But, at the end of the day, he took the responsibility for his side, Delhi, played and then attended the funeral.

As a captain, how has he propelled the team to achieve greatness?

Kohli has taken his batting to Olympian heights and could very well continue in this vein. But the best part is that he has made his team to do its best as well. As a leader what is most important is to inspire a team to be together and perform. Maybe, as a leader he is protective about his team and considers it his priority. This may be misconstrued by many as Kohli being arrogant.

Kohli drills his never-say-die philosophy into his team.   -  Getty Images


One of my favourite quotes is by Dan Gable: “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They are made of sweat, determination, and an hard-to-find alloy called guts.” We know of Kohli as an international cricketer, we know him as an amazing performer and one of the best captains, but what we don’t know of him is what he has done and keeps doing to be there. What happens in his day-to-day life should surely be more pressurising than what happens in ours. Yes, as a star performer he is answerable to people, but the important thing to think about is what would we have done had we been in his shoes.

Of course, Kohli doesn’t like to fail. Indeed, as a captain, as a performer and as the leader of his team, no one would like to fail. Cricket is a demanding and competitive sport, especially in the Indian context, and to survive in a highly popular sport like this, one needs tremendous grit, patience, hard work, aggression, aspiration, passion and self-determination. And in the same sport, for one to break records and excel himself in everything he does require strong willpower.

Until a point in a game, we have our physical strength taking us through, but beyond that, it is the mind that pushes the body to do the best. If not for Kohli’s mental strength — given the amount of setbacks he has been through — he would probably not be the extraordinary role model that we see today.

“I’m building a fire, and everyday I train, I add fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match” — Mia Hamm. Kohli is all about this quote. It describes him in a sentence — putting in all the hard effort and bringing it all together, at the right time.

The author is a sports and exercise psychologist who graduated from Loughborough University.